The Emirates Water and Electricity Company and Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power have signed the water purchase agreement for the world’s largest sea water reverse osmosis desalination plant to be constructed at Taweelah Power and Water Complex, 50 km north of Abu Dhabi, at a cost of up to $900 million.
Acwa Power, a global leader in water desalination and power generation, joined over 15,000 attendees and 66 ministers at this year’s World Energy Congress (WEC) in Abu Dhabi to highlight its position as a global total solution provider across the power and water sectors.
Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian says tapping into the sea to produce potable water is on the agenda because it is more feasible for sustainable supplies rather than depleting drying underground resources.
“Feasibility studies to build new desalination plants to provide drinking water in the southern regions is over and work will commence soon,” the minister was quoted as saying by the Energy Ministry news portal.
Projects include setting up a pipeline for carrying desalinated water from the desalination plant in Al-Shuaibah to Makkah and the holy sites at a total cost exceeding $233m (SAR875m), and the second phase of Al-Shuaibah Desalination Plant with a capacity of 250,000 cubic meters per day at a cost of over $313m (SAR1.175bn).
Other water services projects include water networks, connections to homes, strategic reservoirs and sanitary drainage networks and connections at a cost of over $160m (SAR600m) in several districts of Makkah and the holy sites.
Owned by the kingdom’s Ministry of Finance, Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC) has issued request for proposals (RFPs) for the development of the Jubail Phase 3 Independent Water Projects (IWP), including Jubail-3A and BB with 600,000m3 and 570,000m3 potable water capacity per day.
The qualified bidders for the reverse osmosis desalination plant project include: International Company for Water and Power Projects (Acwa Power); a consortium of FCC Aqualia, Haji Abdullah Alireza & Co and Alfanar Co.; Cobra; Engine Middle East; Malakoff International; a consortium of Marubeni Corporation and Power and Utility Company for Jubail and Yanbu (Marafiq); Mitsubishi Corporation; Suez Groupe; Veolia Middle East; and Utico.
“In Saudi Arabia there are only two sources of water: the sea and deep wells,” says Ahmed Safar Al Asmari, who manages one of Berain’s two factories in Riyadh. “We’re in the central region, so there are only deep wells here.”
Heavy traffic was reported as protestors blocked the Lohamei HaGeta’ot junction.The protestors are fighting against the decision to build the desalination plant in the middle of agricultural land and near residential areas and housing for soldiers.