A string of new water desalination projects, currently under various stages of planning, tendering and development at key locations across the Sultanate, will help supplant older, less efficient projects nearing the end of their operational life, according to the Public Authority for Electricity and Water (Diam).
“Diam believes that desalination plants are the strategic choice for providing safe drinking water of high quality and efficiency due to the geographical location of the Sultanate and the scarcity of groundwater resources,” the state-owned utility said in a recent overview of its activities.
Another year, another drought, reservoirs less than a quarter full, water being rationed. This is not a one off. Due to climate change it is a process that has become quite frequent around the East Med and in Cyprus.
The recent climate change conference organised by the Cyprus Institute in Nicosia in May, concluded that without arresting climate change, the average temperature in the Eastern Mediterranean will rise steadily, and if the world carries on as usual it is expected to exceed 4°C by the end of the century.
Generally, the region is expected to have much drier, warmer conditions and prolonged periods of high temperatures and droughts, more frequent fires, as well as increased pollutants and dust in the atmosphere with negative impacts on air quality and health.
New projects such as $200-billion 200 GW solar power plant and the $130-million Al Khafji solar-powered water desalination plant would drive Saudi Arabia’s solar panel market to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 30.2 per cent during 2018-24, a report said.
Additionally, in the FY2019 national budget, the Saudi government has allocated $7 billion for the development of renewable energy projects, added the study titled “Saudi Arabia Solar Panel Market (2018-2024)” from 6Wresearch, a global market research and consulting firm.
The Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects (KAPP) has invited local, national, and international companies to issue an expression of interest (EOI) for up to two water and power projects: Al-Khairan Phase 1 and Az-Zour North 2 and 3.
This is part of the 430 million USD Shoaiba-4 Seawater Reserve Osmosis (SWRO) desalination project, inked between Doosan Vina and Saudi Arabia’s Saline Water Conversion Co. (SWCC). Under the deal, Doosan Vina and Doosan’s subsidiaries will produce some 1,727 tonnes of desalination equipment for the project.
Acciona Agua, a leader in providing sustainable solutions for infrastructure and renewable energy projects, said it has been awarded a €200 million ($234 million) contract by Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), a Saudi government corporation to build a desalination plant in Al Khobar region of the kingdom.
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) said it has started testing the turbines at the M-Station expansion project in Jebel Ali, which is the newest and largest electricity generation and water desalination plant in the UAE.
These tests are essential to ensure the quality and reliability of the units while connected to the grid. Tests are scheduled to continue until the completion of the Dh1.47-billion ($400 million) expansion project in the fourth quarter of 2018, it stated.
Saudi Arabia’s Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) has reportedly inked a deal with an international firm for the production of 150,000 cubic meters of potable desalinated water daily through three floating desalination plants established on barges.