Spanish infrastructure major Acciona has achieved a key milestone in the construction of Al Khobar 2 desalination plant, ramping up production during final testing to its full capacity of 630,000 cu m of potable water per day, enough to meet the needs of 3 million people.
The new desalination plant by the East of Saudi Arabia, which is already supplying the water network for Al Khobar, is one of the largest to be built in the kingdom and the largest reverse osmosis desalination plant built by Acciona worldwide, said the company in a statement.
The plant is equipped with energy-efficient Sea Water Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) technology and is a key project in the modernisation of Saudi water sector, it stated.
Lauding the project team for the milestone, Javier Nieto, KSA Country Director for Water Business, said: "This milestone is the result of good teamwork between the client, our engineers and the construction teams. Now that we are entering the final testing and commissioning stages, we will undertake several tests to make sure everything works perfectly."
"We are proud to have reached this milestone at Al Khobar 2. It proves Acciona’s commitment to delivering good work to our clients on time, and of our ability to meet the goals of our clients and of local authorities," he noted.
The Saudi publicly-owned company Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) had awarded Acciona and its partner RTCC the construction of the Al Khobar 2 desalination plant in 2020.
Nieto said the facility will be equipped with reverse osmosis technology and its daily capacity of more than 630,000 cu m, makes it one of the biggest in the country and the largest RO plant under EPC scheme awarded in a single shot in KSA.
"In a region with acute water scarcity, demand for desalinated water is being driven by climate change and population growth. Saudi Arabia, which has a population of 35 million, is the world’s third largest per capita consumer of water after the US and Canada," he noted.
The kingdom has set a national programme for rationalizing water consumption, setting ambitious targets that include slashing usage by nearly 43% by 2030. The targets form part of the Saudi Arabia’s comprehensive Vision 2030 social and economic development plan, he added.
Acciona is a world leader in desalination using reverse osmosis technology, which emits 6.5 times fewer greenhouse gases than thermal desalination.
The company has five very large desalination plants and three large sewage treatment plants under construction in Saudi Arabia. All the desalination plants use seawater reverse osmosis technology, stated Nieto.
"They include Al Khobar I & II, with production capacities of 200 and 630 million of liters per day respectively; Shuqaiq 3 & 4, with 450m and 400m liters per day; and Jubail 3B with a capacity of 570m liters per day," he added.
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