Saudi developer and operator of power and water desalination ACWA Power announced on Tuesday that it will implement a pilot project involving Hydraulic Injection Desalination (HID) technology in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.

HID desalination, developed by Andorra-based research and development company Water Global Access (WGA), uses one third less energy than top-of-the-line seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination plants, and 10 times less energy than traditional thermal desalination facilities, ACWA said in a press statement.

The statement said HID has the potential to break the 2 kilowatt per hour (kWh) barrier of energy consumption to produce one cubic metre of water from seawater.

In March, Zawya Projects had reported that ACWA Power had signed a collaboration agreement with WGA to develop a roadmap for the technology across ACWA Power’s projects.

ACWA Power and WGA’s latest agreement, signed in the side lines of the Future of Desalination International Conference in Riyadh, involves industrial-scale integration of HID technology, the press statement said.

It said the current Guinness book record for an SWRO pilot plant is 2.271 kWh to produce a cubic metre of water while the most energy efficient commercial SWRO desalination facilities consume approximately 3 kWh per cubic metre.

“The potential emanating from water production utilising cost effective, low carbon-intensive technologies is truly exponential and we are proud to pilot the ground-breaking HID technology, which is going to be a giant step forward in revolutionising the desalination industry,” said Paddy Padmanathan, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, ACWA Power.

The statement said a reduction in energy used to produce water will result in lower tariffs for government tender purposes, especially for private developers selling desalinated water to governments on long-term contracts over a fixed tariff.

Decreasing the cost of desalination to $0.32 per cubic metre is among the three future opportunities being discussed at Desalination Conference, the other two being growing non-water revenues (NRW) by 10 percent and reducing carbon emissions by 50 percent.

(Writing by Anoop Menon; Editing by Bhaskar Raj)