Western Asia

Vertical farming’s success depends on the cheapest lightbulb – Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi’s giant Yas Mall isn’t the most obvious location for embracing nature. The sprawling complex, which houses a 20-screen cinema, leads to a Ferrari-themed amusement park.

At its heart is the Carrefour SA hypermarket. There’s no natural light or soil, yet floor-to-ceiling shelves offer shoppers herbs and microgreens grown right in the store. 

The fresh produce is a rare sight in the United Arab Emirates, which is almost all desert and imports 80% of its food. It’s marketed as a healthy way for customers to reduce the carbon emissions that would be generated transporting their groceries.


Israel provides Gaza with machines to extract water from air – Asia

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The Gaza Strip recently managed to take advantage of the latest technologies used to produce potable distilled water, thanks to Israeli cooperation.

In early January, Damour for Community Development, a nongovernmental organization based in Ramallah in the West Bank, brought into the besieged enclave two atmospheric water generators that turn air into water using solar power.

The machines are produced by Watergen, an Israeli branch of a US company that obtained the patent for this device in 2015. Watergen paid for half the cost of the two devices, while three families residing in Europe donated the other half. The two machines cost about $61,000 each. 

Qatar seeks fresh bids for Facility E IWPP water and power project – Qatar

Bidding groups for Qatar’s planned Facility E independent water and power project (IWPP) have been asked by Kahramaa, the Qatari state utility to submit alternative prices by February 28 for a larger capacity power generation component.

Earlier last year, media reports said that bids had been received by Kahramaa from three groups for the Facility E IWPP project, with Japanese firms dominating the bid list.

The three bidders submitted final clarifications for original bids in November and have been invited to submit alternative proposals by February 28 for an IWPP with a power generation capacity of 2,600mW as opposed to the 2,300mW plant planned in the original tender.


A new city rises in the desert, under a fake moon – Saudi Arabia

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, who has not till now shown any great enthusiasm for tackling climate chaos, is working on designs for an environmentally-friendly new city in the kingdom.

At successive international climate meetings Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, has been among those states which have obstructed rather than encouraged attempts to tackle the increasingly urgent problems associated with a fast-warming world.

But recently Prince Mohammed, seen very much as the power behind the Saudi throne, has been talking of building a zero emissions city and establishing what he describes as “a blueprint for how people and planet can co-exist in harmony.”


Saudi Arabia’s $16b water pipeline expansion is one big privatisation play in making – Saudi Arabia

For its privatization plans, Saudi Arabia is not thinking – or taking – half-measures.

If anyone needs confirmation, check out the kingdom’s utility sector… and specifically, the water side of it.

“All desalination plants will become standalone production companies as part of our privatization strategy,” said Abdullah Bin Ibrahim Al-Abdlkareem, Governor of Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) and Chairman of newly formed Water Transmission and Technologies Co. (WTTC).


Turkey Faces Worst Drought in a Decade; Cities Could Run Dry in 45 Days – Turkey

The ancient city of Constantinople, today known as Istanbul, could run dry by March 1 if rain does not fall.

That might be awkward for more than just Turkey: Israel’s national carrier, El Al Airlines buys all of its bottled water for its packaged meals on its flights, from Turkey.

But the country is now facing its worst drought in more than a decade.


Israel’s Mekorot to sign Bahrain desalination deal – Bahrain

In the coming few days, Israel’s Mekorot National Water Company will sign a first deal to provide Bahrain with desalination technology for brackish water.

The agreement will be signed with Bahrain’s Water and Electricity Authority following talks with Mekorot CEO Eli Cohen and chairperson Mordechai Mordechai.

Mekorot believes that the deal will be the first of many deals with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) worth millions of dollars annually.


ACCIONA completes construction of Al Khobar I desalination plant in KSA – Saudi Arabia

ACCIONA, the Spanish global developer and manager of sustainable infrastructure solutions, has announced that it has completed the construction of the Al Khobar I desalination plant in Saudi Arabia and that the plant is producing water beyond its nominal capacity since December 26, 2020.

In a statement, the company explained that the seawater desalination reverse osmosis (SWRO) plant, of high energy efficiency, is a key project in the modernisation program for the Kingdom’s water sector, which is currently being carried out by Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) of Saudi Arabia.

The plant, which will produce 210,000 cubic meters of drinking water per day, will supply a population equivalent of 350,000, the statement added, pointing out that it is one of the biggest desalination plants in Saudi Arabia in terms of capacity.


Seven groups to bid for $3.5bn Jubail desalination plant privatisation project – Saudi Arabia

The upcoming tender for the privatisation of Saudi Arabia’s Ras Al Khair desalination and power plant situated north of Jubail city, will see seven groups from various parts of the world participating after they were prequalified by the country’s Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) for the project valued at an estimated $3.5bn.

The entities prequalified by SWCC to participate in the bidding process are Engie from France, Japan’s Jera and Marubeni Corporation, NTPC from India, local Saudi company Acwa Power and the joint Saudi-Chinese entity China Power International Holding/Ajlan & Bros Energy Company, as well as another unnamed consortium of Asian companies.

According to the SWCC, the winning bidder will acquire a 60% share in the Ras Al Khair project company, giving it management and operational control of the plant. According to several media reports, SWCC has not yet issued the request for proposals (RFP) for the privatisation but is expected to do so soon.


Saudi’s SWPC receives EOIs for Ras Mohaisen desalination plant – Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC) has begun receiving expressions of interest (EOIs) following its issuance of requests for qualification (RFQ) for the development of its Ras Mohaisen independent water project (IWP).

Approximately 44 companies have expressed their interest in developing the Ras Mohaisen IWP, including 21 Saudi companies.

UAE-based Metito Utilities Limited, and UTICO FZC; French firms ENGIE Middle East, Veolia Middle East; Egypt’s Orascom Construction, and Elsewedy Electric; Spain’s Acciona Agua; India’s Essar Power; and Japan’s Marubeni have all shown interest in the project.