JEDDAH: Saline Water Conversion Corp. of Saudi Arabia will open six desalination plants by 2024 in a phased manner, starting with the launch of two plants by the end of 2022.
Speaking to Arab News on the sidelines of the innovation-driven desalination conference, SWCC Governor Abdullah Al-Abdul-Karim revealed that these plants would be established in various cities across the Kingdom, including Al-Shuqaiq, Al-Shoaiba, Jubail and Alkhobar. .
Each plant will have an electricity consumption of less than 1.7 kilowatts per cubic meter, which will reduce the cost of water production by SR 1.54 ($0.42) per cubic meter.
“With production at such a minimum cost, it will increase the sector’s contribution to the national gross domestic product,” he said.
The Kingdom’s desalinated water production amounts to more than 7.9 million cubic meters per day, which accounts for 55% of the Gulf region and 22.2% of global desalination, according to a report published by SWCC.
Highlighting the importance of becoming sustainable, Al-Abdul-Karim revealed that the water desalination industry in the Kingdom plans to reduce its carbon emissions by 65% by 2024, which is equivalent to 35 million tons of carbon dioxide.
“It’s a big number. It’s a big move. And it’s because the country has a plan for the future that is both environmental and economic,” Al-Abdul-Karim said.
The company is also switching from conventional energy sources to advanced and efficient systems to power these desalination plants.
“We will replace all of our thermal technology with the latest reverse osmosis technology, which will fuel our plan to become carbon neutral by 2060,” he added.
During the interview, Al-Abdul-Karim added that innovation is needed to make water “affordable, plentiful and accessible”.
“For seawater desalination, we need to let innovation impact this industry. We should come up with the most innovative idea to reduce costs, increase efficiency, improve financial viability and impact the economy and living standards,” he said.
He added that innovative companies from all over the world could come to partner with Saudi Arabia in the desalination industry.
“There are many innovative houses in the world. So we are here to tell you that we are a good partner in this journey. And we are ready to shake hands with all companies that believe innovation is their business,” Al-Abdul-Karim said.