King allocates SR175m annually to buy desalinated water from mobile plants

King Salman

Saudi Gazette report

Riyadh — Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman has ordered that SR175 million be allocated annually to purchase desalinated water from mobile plants to meet the rising demand for desalinated water.

This generous annual allocation will help increase the supply of desalinated water until the completion of Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) projects under construction, said Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture and SWCC Chairman Eng. Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli.

He said these mobile plants will be used to increase water supply in some regions of the Kingdom.

Initially these mobile desalination plants will operate in Jazan and Asir regions, Al-Fadli said, adding that these will later be moved to other regions.

These mobile plants use reverse osmosis (RO) technology that also provides electricity.

SWCC will invite companies to submit their bids.

Last month, Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, visited the Jeddah Desalination Plant to personally congratulate SWCC workers on their achievement.

The SWCC Saudi staff made an unprecedented achievement by raising the production capacity from 3.5 million cubic meters to 5 million cubic meters per day during the past two years without an increase in cost, a global record for the desalination industry.

Earlier this month, Guinness World Records recognized SWCC as the largest water desalination company in the world with a daily production capacity of 5 million cubic meters.

Saudi Arabia plans to build nine desalination plants for more than SR2 billion ($530 million) on the Red Sea coast.

The plants will have capacity of 240,000 cubic meters of water per day and will be completed in less than 18 months.

Saudi Arabia has a total of 31 desalination plants in 17 locations operated and managed by 10,340 employee with Saudization up to 92 percent and several desalination plants under construction with total production capacity up to 1 million cube meters per day.

According to the Global Food Security Index 2015, about 97 percent of Saudi Arabia’s population has access to potable water, despite the harsh desert climate in the Kingdom where the annual rainfall is very low, evaporation rates high and groundwater is being depleted.