Saudi Arabia’s private utility ACWA Power, which is backed by the kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), saw its water desalination capacity swell by a record 30% last year to nearly seven million cubic metres (cm3), as it continued to expand its portfolio to address the “water scarcity crisis”. 

During 2022, the company added 2.4 million cubic metres per day of capacity across four of its reverse osmosis (RO) projects, the largest in a calendar year in the company’s history. The company’s total water capacity under management now stands at 6.4 million cubic metres across 16 projects in four countries. 

“Enhancing capacity is a significant milestone not only for us, but for our industry. I am confident that through our expertise, we will continue to build water security reliably and responsibly for Saudi Arabia and the world,” said Kashif Rana, Chief Portfolio Management Officer at ACWA Power. 

The company’s desalinated water currently meets 30% of Saudi Arabia’s water requirements. This year, it is expected to boost its desalination portfolio with the delivery of three more projects, which will raise its capacity by up to 15%. 

The company’s water desalination facilities use reverse osmosis technology, which is considered up to 80% more energy efficient than traditional thermal desalination technology.

In 2020, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund PIF raised its stake in ACWA Power from 33.36% to 50% as part of a strategy to support efforts towards the development of the renewable energy sector. 

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Daniel Luiz)