Saudi developer and operator of power, desalination and green hydrogen plants worldwide ACWA Power announced on Monday that it added 2.4 million cubic metres per dat (m3/day) of water desalination capacity across four reverse osmosis (RO) megaprojects in 2022, the largest in a calendar year in the company’s history. 

The Saudi stock exchange-listed company said in a press statement that the record achievement brings the company’s total water capacity under management to 6.4 million m3 across 16 projects in four countries. 

“The world is facing an exponential water scarcity crisis due to rapidly increasing demand. In the Middle East especially, low rainfall is placing additional pressure on water infrastructure. ACWA Power has been at the forefront in mitigating water resources challenges over the past decade and a half through innovative, resilient solutions that are benefitting millions of people across the world. said 

Kashif Rana, Chief Portfolio Management Officer, ACWA Power said: “During 2022, despite global geopolitical challenges and cost pressures, our teams expanded our water desalination portfolio by over 30 percent. We are indeed proud to have added 2.4 million m3/day of water capacity across four mega RO projects with the addition serving 5.5 million people in the GCC daily.”

The statement said the project used energy-efficient RO desalination technology to produce water at less than $0.50/m3, which is up to three-quarters lower than the tariff of $2/m3 a few years ago.

“As the leading water desalination operator in the world today, managing 6.4 million m3/day of desalinated water at lowest possible cost, ACWA Power is continuing to bring an innovative, and practical change to the industry, as we have been doing since 2006,” said Tariq Nada, Vice President, Water and Technical Service, adding that the projects showcase capacity, technological and financial breakthroughs. 

ACWA Power is currently producing desalinated water to meet the water needs of 40 million people daily based on average global consumption per household. Presently, it is responsible for fulfilling an estimated 30 percent of Saudi Arabia’s total water needs. 

In 2023, the company said it expects to add at least three more projects to its desalination portfolio which will increase its total capacity by up to 15 percent.

(Writing by SA Kader; Editing by Anoop Menon)