Toray wins reverse osmosis membrane orders in Arabian Gulf

Toray Industries' reverse osmosis (RO) membrane business has won a series of orders from four seawater desalination plants in the Arabian Gulf. These orders follow the earlier orders from the Hamma desalination plant in Algeria and the Shuaiba desalination plant in Saudi Arabia. All the aforementioned seawater desalination plants for which Toray is newly supplying its products are scheduled to start operations in the current fiscal year or later...

Sept. 18, 2008 -- Toray Industries Inc. announced that its reverse osmosis (RO) membrane business has won a series of orders from four seawater desalination plants in the Arabian Gulf.

These medium- to large-scale orders follow the earlier orders from the Hamma desalination plant in Algeria (capacity of 200,000 m³/day) and the Shuaiba desalination plant in Saudi Arabia (capacity 150,000 m³/day). All the aforementioned seawater desalination plants for which Toray is newly supplying its products are scheduled to start operations in the current fiscal year or later.

Toray received new orders for the following four plants:
• Fujairah II desalination plant: United Arab Emirates (UAE), capacity of 136,000 m³/day, scheduled to start operations in 2009. Fujaira II is the first RO seawater desalination plant under the Fujairah 2 Independent Water and Power Project (F2 IWPP) currently in progress in Qidfa, the Emirate of Fujairah of the UAE. Veolia Environment of France won the contract to construct the plant.

• Shuwaikh desalination plant: Kuwait, capacity of 136,000 m³/day, scheduled to start operations in 2010. Shuwaikh is the first large-scale RO desalination plant in Kuwait, and Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction Co., Ltd. of South Korea has won the order to construct the plant. Kuwait has the world's largest membrane wastewater treatment plant in Sulaibiya (capacity: 320,000 m³/day), which uses Toray's RO membranes, and began operations in 2005.

• The Pearl Qatar desalination plant: Qatar, capacity of 35,000 m³/day, scheduled to start operations in 2008. The Pearl is a man-made resort island being built off the coast of Qatar's capital Doha. The plant is currently being constructed by Metito of UAE. This is the first order Toray has received from a Qatari plant.

• Qarn Aram desalination plant: Oman, capacity of 25,000 m³/day, scheduled to start operations in 2008. Qarn Aram is a plant for the Qarn Aram oil exploration in Oman and Veolia Environment of France won the order for building the plant. This is also the first time that Toray is supplying RO membranes to a plant in Oman.

These four countries are in the Arabian Gulf, where the desalination of seawater is highly challenging and the region had very few RO desalination plants until recently. High salinity (1.3 times the level of Red Sea on the west of Saudi Arabia), high temperatures exceeding 35 degrees Celsius and highly turbid inland seawater are the main factors that make desalination in the region a challenging task.

In addition to the Al Jubail desalination plant in Saudi Arabia¹, Toray has been supplying RO membranes in the region to plants in outlying islands of UAE and resorts, and this proven track record was instrumental in the company winning the string of orders announced this time.

Including the new contracts, RO membranes supplied by Toray would have seawater desalination capacity exceeding 2.8 million m³/day, giving it the company the biggest market share in this field. Toray expects the competition to get stiffer in the future on a global scale.

The aforementioned desalination capacity of Toray's membranes is equivalent to domestic-use water enough for 12 million people.

Toray intends to actively pursue orders not only in this region but also in other Middle Eastern countries, North Africa China, India and Australia.

1. Capacity 91,000 m³/day; Toray is a joint supplier with another company and Toray-supplied membranes produce 24,000 m³ of water per day.

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