Saudi Arabian companies participating in MENA Desalination Projects Conference

Desalination Plant.

ABU DHABI — The first edition of the 2-day MENA Desalination Projects conference began Sunday, with 300 experts from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) desalination sector participating. This is a milestone event in the water desalination domain following the announcement of multibillion upcoming desalination projects across the region that aim to adopt the latest environmentally friendly desalination methods.

Participating government entities in the conference will be the UAE Department of Energy, the Water & Electricity Company in KSA, the Egyptian Holding Company for Water and Wastewater, the Public Authority for Electricity & Water in Oman, the Ministry of Electricity and Water of Kuwait and the Sharjah Electricity and Water Company.

The MENA Desalination Projects conference is chaired by Dr. Corrado Sommariva, CEO & founder, SWPC, leading the discussion of 30 chairmen, managing directors, CEOs, water sector leaders, project managers. Eng. Abdullah Nasser Alzowaid, deputy governor for operation and maintenance, SWCC will deliver the keynote address about the Saline Water Conversion Company’s Vision 2030 and upcoming desalination projects and an overview on the upcoming desalination plants to be delivered by 2022 in KSA.

A report issued by BNC, the research and business networking company, which has the largest database of projects in the region, revealed that the UAE is leading the region in establishing desalination plants with an investment value of AED4.75 billion, distributed over two desalination plants operating by reverse osmosis system.

The Taweelah plant in Abu Dhabi, scheduled to be completed in the Q4 2022, and the plant at Jebel Ali in Dubai, scheduled to be completed by Q2 of next year. The total value of investment in the top 10 water desalination plants being developed in the MENA region amounts to AED19.3 billion, with a UAE share ofAED 4.7 billion, while the Saudi Arabia’s share amounts for AED5.6 billion, 4 billion for Jordan, 1.84 billion for Oman, 1.83 billion Egypt 1.3 billion for Morocco.

Commenting on the launch of the first edition of MENA Desalination Projects Conference, Eng. Rashid Al Lim, chairman of SEWA, highlighted the importance of the event hosted in Abu Dhabi, which comes at a time when there is a need for sustainable water sources to keep pace with expansion witnessed by the countries of the region and the UAE in particular, and the urgent desire to find innovative, economical and environmentally friendly means of water desalination, which is a challenge for governments and concerned international organizations.

He added: “GCC countries have the highest global water desalination capacity of 81% while running production of around 40% percent of total world water desalination. This explains, on one hand, the development of 289 desalination plants on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea. The gathering of the sector’s big players to showcase their innovations to comfort Water desalination capabilities and provided economic and eco-friendly impacts of this activity.”

The report monitors the volume of activity by countries in the region to enhance their share of usable water by expanding desalination plants construction, with the limited capacity of natural resources to meet the growing demands of growing populations.

KSA is the most active in this regard with the development of three desalination plants at the same time, Al Khobar desalination plant in the Eastern Province, with a capacity of 210,000 cubic meters of water per day, which opens in Q2 2021,and Yanbu plant with a capacity of 450,000 cubic meters of water per day, which opens in Q4 2020, and finally station brother 3 in the city of Jazan 450,000 cubic meters of water per day, and opens in the second quarter of the year 2022.

Thomas Altmann, VP technology & innovation, ACWA Power said: “The shift to renewable energy sources to drive desalination plants will serve as the ideal sustainable alternative and a lucrative economic investment as renewable energy sources and energy storage will continue to decrease in cost.”

The event gathers under one roof government officials from the region to discuss the national sustainability visions that guide the water agenda. Participants will have the opportunity to explore the most attractive opportunities for future analytical infrastructure projects in the Middle East region.

Government officials and experts highlight the latest developments in the growing desalination industry in the Middle East and North Africa, and the latest technologies in the management and operation of desalination plants.

The conference also serves as an innovative platform for young people from the region and the world to showcase their innovations and innovations in water desalination for various uses, alternative water management systems in homes, offices, industrial and agricultural facilities, and to explore comprehensive plans for national resource management. — SG