Large scale solar desalination race continues in the Middle East

Jan. 21, 2015
Only days after news emerged from Abu Dhabi that it plans to continue developing the world’s first full scale solar desalination plant, a new contract has been signed in Saudi Arabia...

Only days after news emerged from Abu Dhabi that it plans to continue developing the world’s first full scale solar desalination plant, a new contract has been signed in Saudi Arabia.

Spanish company Abengoa will work with Advanced Water Technology (AWT) to jointly develop a 60,000 m3/day solar powered desalination plant in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

The plant will produce drinking water for Al Khafji City in North Eastern Saudi Arabia.

AWT is a newly formed water solutions company based in Riyadh, as the commercial arm of KACST (King Abdulaziz City Science and Technology) and is owned by Taqnia, a technology investment company.

In a statement, Abengoa said a pre-treatment phase will “reduce the high level of salinity and the oils and fats that are present in the region’s seawater”.

The Al Khafji 60,000 m3/day project will bring Abengoa’s total desalination capacity to nearly 1,500,000 m3/day.

Included in this is the 60,000 m3/day desalination project in Ghana, Africa, which local reports have suggested is now complete (see Desalinate newscast).

Earlier this week France’s SUEZ Environment further developed a contract signed in Abu Dhabi to develop a 100% solar powered desalination plant (see WWi story).


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VIDEO: Saudi Arabia’s SWCC – Solar Plans in Saudi H.E. Dr Abdulrahman Al-Ibrahim, governor of SWCC, explains plans for solar power desalination in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia…

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About the Author

Tom Freyberg

Tom Freyberg is an experienced environmental journalist, having worked across a variety of business-to-business titles. Since joining Pennwell in 2010, he has been influential in developing international partnerships for the water brand and has overseen digital developments, including 360 degree video case studies. He has interviewed high level figures, including NYSE CEO’s and Environmental Ministers. A known figure in the global water industry, Tom has chaired and spoken at conferences around the world, from Helsinki, to London and Singapore. An English graduate from Exeter University, Tom completed his PMA journalism training in London.

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