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Saudi Arabia Announces $4.5 Billion Investment in Desal, Power

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia

Saudi Saline Water Conversion Corporation Governor Abdulrahman Al-Ibrahim announced this week that the kingdom plans to invest $4.5 billion USD in desalination and power projects over the next few weeks, including a $1.01 billion USD desal plant contract recently signed with South Korea’s Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction.

The country is currently on its way to having 30 operating desalination plants, with several to be completed before the end of the year. This will also bring the number of pumping stations to 29 and mixing stations to 10, with over 4,000 kilometers of pipelines.

Doosan Heavy Industries Vietnam, subsidiary of the South Korean company, announced this week that it, too, had received an order to manufacture seawater desalination plants for Saudi Arabia.

The company will manufacture four high-tech multi-stage flash desalination plants, which will each produce about 92 million liters of freshwater a day.

The “plug-and-play” units will be completely manufactured in Vietnam and then shipped to their installation site, where they can become quickly operational.

Australian-based water treatment technology company Water Resources Group also announced this week that its subsidiary, Water Resources International, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Knowledge Industry Company (KIC) of Saudi Arabia for supply and operation of advanced seawater reverse osmosis desalination pilot plant.

The plant will be powered by hybrid wind and solar energy systems, which falls in line with KIC’s development plans to develop community-scale desalination projects using renewable energy. 

KIC CEO Dr. Khaled Al Bulaihed said: “Due to [its] diversified regions, Saudi Arabia has an urgent need for community-based desalination powered by renewable energy. The advances seawater reverse osmosis system’s low energy requirements, faster manufacturing and installation time were key factors in our decision.”

Water Resources International and KIC are expected to sign a Participation and Supply Agreement before the end of the year that will see the Australian firm manufacture and supply the desalination systems with production capacities from 20,000-40,000 cubic meters per day. 

It will also provide technical and maintenance oversight for seven years.

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