Two Major desalination projects on the Red Sea coast - MENA startups, innovation, and tech news


Two Major desalination projects on the Red Sea coast

Two Major desalination projects on the Red Sea coast

Saudi Arabia has announced two major desalination projects on the Red Sea coast of Makkah Province totaling the projects to 9,00,000 meters per day.

Saudi Desalination is the lifeblood of Saudi Arabia, making it the largest producer of desalinated water in the world. Nearly 35% of the Arab region’s desalination is supported by Saudi Arabia, including BahrainEgyptIraqJordanKuwait MoroccoOmanPalestineQatarSudanSyriaTunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.


According to Ahmed al-Amoudi, head of a government-run desalination research institute, “We can benefit from the sea and its treasures by the extraction of minerals.” There is a potential future where industrially useful minerals such as sodium chloride salt, magnesium and calcium can be extracted from the seawater alongside clean water, and the highlysalty wastewater, known as brine, does not flow back into the sea.
The eastern coast of Saudi is home to the record-breaking al-Jubail plant as well as the world’s largest plant at Ras-al-Khair, which uses modern hybrid desalination technology. These plants feed the east coast cities and the desalinated water is also directed by pipelines to the desert to the 7 million inhabitants of the capital Riyadh.


The announcement of two major desalination projects, Ras Mohaisan and Rabigh 4, a total of 900,000 cubic metres per day (m3/day), located on the Red Sea coast of Makkah Province, further adds to the list. Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC)  has summoned firms to settle for the 25-year agreement with SPWC to develop the plant in Ras Mohaisen, using seawater reverse osmosis (OSRW) technology. Approximately 44 companies have expressed their interest, including, Acciona Agua, Kahrabel FZE, FCC Aqualia and Alfanar Company. It is expected to be authorized in 2022. With a design capacity of 300,000 cubic metres a day, the Ras Mohaisan project is part of an overall programme to develop 16 independent water projects (IWPs) across the province. The project will be implemented on a build-own-operate transfer (BOOT) model and is set to operate in 2024.

The Rabigh 4 IWP, also based on reverse seawater osmosis, will have a capacity of 600,000 cubic metres a day, expandable to 1.2 million cubic metres a day. Firms are expected to submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) by 30 June 2021 for this 25-year water purchase agreement with SWPC.

SWPC’s professional advisors of both the projects are: KPMG as Lead and Financial advisor,Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP as Legal Advisor and WSP as Technical Advisor.

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