Saudi Arabia's Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) announced last week that it has signed agreements with local and international companies to convert brine waste stream of reverse osmosis (RO) desalination plants into useful chemicals and salts for Saudi industries.

The projects, according to an Arabic language infographic tweeted by SWCC, will extract bromine, and other valuable salts and minerals such as lithium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium from the brine for use in the Kingdom’s oil & gas, petrochemical, pharmaceutical and metallurgical industries.

The infographic said that by 2024, the production of bromine in the Kingdom under the agreements is expected to touch 16,000 tonnes, which will meet 30 percent of local market demand.

Investments in desalination brine mining are expected to reach 800 million Saudi riyals ($213 million) in 2024 and 8 billion riyals ($2.1 billion) by 2030, the infographic said, adding that the initiative will contribute 1.5 billion riyals ($400 million) annually to the Kingdom’s GDP by 2030

SWCC produces more than 4 billion cubic metres of brine each year, according to its website. 

According to SWCC's 2021 sustainability report, the Corporation's brine commercial investment initiative aims to leverage the brine resources in Jubail, Yanbu and Ras Al Khair desalination plants through strategic partnerships with investors and manufacturers. The report said SWCC has also obtained patents for a ZLD [Zero Liquid Discharge] technology, which enables brine to be converted into mineral by-products that can be used in industries.

(Writing by Marwa Abo Almajd; Editing by Anoop Menon)