New seawater desalination plant to be built at Kuwait complex

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PARIS, Jan. 13, 2014 -- Under a new engineering, purchasing and construction (EPC) contract, Veolia Environnement (Paris:VIE) will build a seawater desalination plant at the Az Zour North complex in Kuwait for €320 million ($437 million).

Won in partnership with Hyundai Heavy Industries, Veolia, through its subsidiary Sidem, will build a plant with a daily production capacity of 486,400 cubic meters of water. Hyundai will be responsible for building the 1,500-MW power station. All the electricity generated and water produced will be purchased by the Kuwaiti government for 40 years. Work will begin before the end of 2013 and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2016. The Az Zour desalination plant will account for approximately 20 percent of Kuwait's installed capacity.

The technology chosen for Az Zour North, multi-effect distillation (MED), is able to adapt to fluctuations in water demand over time. Additionally, it is a robust energy-consuming and economically-efficient desalination technique. In 2010, Veolia had already been selected to build the Az Zour South water desalination plant, for which it opted for reverse osmosis (RO) membrane technology. With a daily capacity of 136,000 cubic meters of water, this plant is currently in the start-up phase.

The construction of the desalination plant is part of the Az Zour North electricity generation and water production project located 100 kilometers south of the Kuwaiti capital. Awarded a year ago to the consortium of GDF Suez Energy International (France), Sumitomo Corporation (Japan) and Abdullah Hamad Al-Sager and Brothers (Kuwait), this is the country's first public-private partnership (PPP) for an independent water and power project (IWPP). Further, this project is part of the long-term plan to develop Kuwait's installed electricity generation and water production capacity.

About Veolia Environnement

Veolia Environnement (Paris Euronext: VIE and NYSE: VE) is a reference in environmental solutions. With 220,000 employees, the company has operations all around the world and provides tailored solutions to meet the needs of municipal and industrial customers in three complementary segments: water management, waste management and energy management. For more information, visit


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