UF/RO combo to supply water to Saudi petrochemical complex

Saudi Arabian water and electricity services operator Marafiq has contracted Veolia Water to design, build and operate the largest ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis desalination plant in Saudi Arabia...

Saudi Arabian water and electricity services operator Marafiq has contracted Veolia Water to design, build and operate the largest ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis desalination plant in Saudi Arabia.

With this contract, Veolia Water will generate $310 million (€232 million) in revenue for the plant's design and construction, and $92 million (€69 million) in revenue for its operation for 10 years, with an option to extend the contract for a further 20 years.

With a capacity of 178,000 m3/day, this new plant will supply the Sadara petrochemical complex built by Dow Chemical and Saudi Aramco in Jubail Industrial City II and is due to come on stream in June 2015.

Dow Chemical and Aramco will produce solvents and glues for the automotive and packaging industries at the Sadara site. The water supplied will be used in this immense facility's two cooling towers and as boiler feed water.

To meet strict water quality standards required by Marafiq, Veolia Water, through its subsidiary Sidem, has designed a plant combining two seawater treatment solutions: ultrafiltration (UF) and reverse osmosis (RO).

After an initial treatment phase involving dissolved air flotation to capture the suspended particles in the water and UF, the water will then be desalinated by RO membranes before being remineralized.

Present in Saudi Arabia since 1979 where it built the desalination plant for the city of Al Khobar in the Eastern Province, near the Persian Gulf, in 2010, Sidem had already built the first desalination plant in Jubail City. The 800,000 m3/day capacity plant uses Veolia's multiple-effect distillation (MED) process.

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