Saudi Arabia to build nine desalination plants

SA DE PLThe plants are part of the Saudi Vision 2030, to increase the percentage of desalinated water production. (Image source: Ryan Lackey/Flickr)Saudi Arabia plans to build nine desalination plants for more than US$530mn on the Red Sea coast, according to minister of environment, water and agriculture Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli

The plants will have capacity of 240,000 cu/m of water per day and will be completed in less than 18 months, Al-Fadhli added.

The project, which the minister said was ordered by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman in a royal decree, will help government-owned Saudi Saline Water Conversion Corp (SWCC) raise production efficiency and cut operating and capital costs.

According to Saudi Gazette, the kingdom is the largest producer of desalinated water in the world.

Saudi Arabia has raised its desalinated water production to five million cu/m per day at the end of 2017.

Through the Vision 2030, the government intends to provide better opportunities for partnerships with the private sector by increasing the percentage of desalinated water production through strategic partners.

Last year, SWCC announced plans to invest about US$80bn by 2025 in bid to boost desalinated water production to 8.5mn cu/m per day.

Saudi Arabia has announced a number of pioneering projects, including Al Khafji – the world’s first solar-powered desalination plant. Valued at US$130mn, the photovoltaic plant – a joint venture between Advanced Water Techologies and Abengoa – will produce 60,000 cu m of water to supply Al Khafji City in North Eastern Saudi Arabia, ensuring a constant water supply throughout the year.

Saudi Arabia said in 2016 it planned to use public-private partnerships (PPP) with local and foreign companies to fund infrastructure projects.

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