Veolia Water to build one of world's largest desalination plants in Saudi Arabia

July 6, 2007
Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies, through its thermal desalination specialist SIDEM (Veolia WST-Sidem), has been chosen to design and build one of the world's largest desalination plants in Saudi Arabia. Considered of national importance, the plant will provide 800,000m3/day of desalinated water to Jubail Industrial City and the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia -- a desert region facing massive industrialization plans and a growing population. The contract, worth around...

PARIS, June 28, 2007 -- Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies, through its thermal desalination specialist SIDEM (Veolia WST-Sidem), has been chosen to design and build one of the world's largest desalination plants in Saudi Arabia. Considered of national importance, the plant will provide 800,000m3/day of desalinated water to Jubail Industrial City and the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia -- a desert region facing massive industrialization plans and a growing population.

The contract, worth around US$945 million (702 million Euros), for Veolia Water, is for the complete design and build of the desalination plant by Veolia WST-Sidem, which is included in an Independent Water and Power Production Project (IWPP), led by MARAFIQ, the Power and Water Utility Company for Jubail and Yanbu, Saudi Arabia. This forms part of a long-term expansion plan for power and desalination capacities in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, and involves the supply not only of desalinated water but also the production of 2750 MW of electricity. The overall IWPP Project was won by a Consortium of developers composed of Suez Energy International in partnership with ACWA Power and Gulf Investment Corporation, which placed an Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract to a consortium for the new Power and Desalination Plant. The members of this consortium are General Electric (USA), Hyundai Heavy Industries (Korea) and SIDEM (France). Within the construction framework of this new water and electricity production plant, Veolia WST-Sidem will supply the thermal desalination units by recuperating the heat from the power station, General Electric will assure the supply of the power station equipment, and Hyundai Heavy Industries will assure the construction of the seawater intake unit and work for reject into the sea.

The desalination plant will be based on SIDEM's unique Multiple Effect Distillation (MED) process, and will include 27 desalination units, each having a capacity of 29,630 m3/day, and a remineralization plant. The MED process is one of the leading technologies incorporated within the project. It recovers the exhaust heat from the power plant and uses it to evaporate seawater at low temperature. As its electrical consumption is low (only one third of that of competing processes), it is the ideal solution for addressing the normally large energy consumption required for desalinating seawater.

The project will be completed by 2010. It will be designed to serve an increasing population, in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, a country holding the world's largest oil reserves.

Commenting on the contract, Antoine Frérot, Chief Executive Officer of Veolia Water said "We are extremely pleased to be associated with this vital Power and Water project for Saudi Arabia. The challenge of designing and building a plant that will produce 800,000m3 of desalinated water/day requires great coordination and understanding between all parties concerned. As leading specialists in this sector, we are able to implement the latest state-of-the-art solutions and technologies that will contribute to the successful realization of such an impressive project."

SIDEM, part of Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies, is one of the world leaders in thermal seawater desalination through low temperature distillation processes such as Multiple Effect Distillation (MED), Multiple Effect Distillation with Thermal Vapour Compression (MED-TVC), and Multiple Effect Distillation with Mechanical Vapour Compression (MED-MVC).The company has been present in Saudi Arabia since the 1970's. To date, SIDEM has already completed 46 desalination units in Saudi Arabia, including a plant of 267,000m3/day in Al Khobar. Recent contracts include the Al Hidd Power and Desalination Plant in Bahrain (270 000 m3/day), and Al Taweelah A1, in the UAE (240,000m3/day).

Veolia Water, the water division of Veolia Environnement, is the world leader in water and wastewater services. Specialized in outsourcing services for municipal authorities, as well as industrial and service companies, it is also one of the world's major designers of technological solutions and constructor of facilities needed in water and wastewater services. Veolia Water serves 108 million people worldwide. With 70,700 employees, its 2006 revenues amounted to €10.08 billion.

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