Muscat: In an initiative that can go a long way in addressing water salinity in a sustainable way, a pilot project of solar water desalinaton has been launched in the Sultanate.

The project which comes within the framework of the Korean-Omani cooperation, has been hailed by Chang-Kyu Kim, Ambassador of the Republic of South Korea to the Sultanate of Oman.

The Korean-Omani pilot project for solar-powered water desalination is being implemented by the Korean Company Prosave in a farm owned by a citzen in the village of Al Nabra in the Suwaiq wilayat in the North Al Batinah Governorate.

The project, which is sponsored by the Korean Ministry of Environment, is one of the pioneering projects abroad being supported by KISAs and the KOTRA global green initiative, and aims to solve water shortage problems in countries suffering from water crises, especially in the Middle East.

It is worth noting that many farms in North Al Batinah Governorate suffer from water salinity, including the farm where the project was launched.

The project aims to find effective solutions to the problem of salinity in farms and take advantage of modern scientific techniques in this field. The water desalination system in this project is characterised by being solar powered (RO/PV) where electricity is generated from solar energy completely and all the energy used is renewable energy.

The photovoltaic panels are connected to the desalination system to save energy and this is done through the utilisation of reverse osmosis process (RO).

Usually the reverse osmosis process utilises a large amount of electricity but this device can reduce the cost of electricity to be cost effective to operate the system which is designed to produce 32 tonnes of fresh water per day (8 hours) using 56 kilowatts of electricity. The system has the capacity to produce photovoltaic energy of 350 kilowatt in 8 hours, so the excess electricity can be used for other purposes.

The inauguration ceremony of the project was attended by a number of farmers from the Suwaiq and neighbouring wilayats, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Omani Agricultural Association, a number of officials from the Ministry of Agricultural, Fisheries and Water Resources, several officials from the Embassy of South Korea in the Sultanate, and the from the Korean Company Prosave, the company executing the project.

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