ABU DHABI- "GCC countries have the highest global water desalination capacity of 81 per cent while running production of around 40 per cent of total world water desalination," said Dr. Engineer Rashid Al Leem, Chairman of Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority, SEWA.
"This explains, on one hand, the development of 289 desalination plants on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea," he stated as More than 300 experts from the Middle East and North Africa,Mena, desalination sector along with leading companies from 40 countries across the globe are taking part in the debut edition of the Mena Desalination Projects Conference which kicked off today in Abu Dhabi.
The two-day event is being held under the theme "Evaluating Innovations in Desalination for Current & Future Projects," at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers in the UAE capital as a milestone event in water desalination field, especially with billions of dollars’ worth projects that aim to adopt the latest environment-friendly desalination methods.
It will also see a total of 30 speakers, 40 exhibitors from 40 countries and desalination and technology experts, including six C-level executives from key government entities, said the organisers.
A report issued by BNC, the research and business networking company, revealed that the UAE is leading the region in establishing desalination plants with an investment value of AED4.75 billion, distributed over two desalination plants operating by reverse osmosis system: the Taweelah plant in Abu Dhabi, scheduled to be completed in the Q4 2022, and the plant at Jebel Ali in Dubai, scheduled to be completed by Q2 of next year.
The total value of investment in the top 10 water desalination plants being developed in the Mena region amounts to AED19.3 billion, with a UAE share of AED4.7 billion, while the Saudi Arabia's share amounts for AED5.6 billion, AED4 billion for Jordan, AED1.84 billion for Oman, AED1.83 billion Egypt, and AED1.3 billion for Morocco. The BNC report monitors the volume of activity by countries in the region to enhance their share of usable water by expanding desalination plants construction, with the limited capacity of natural resources to meet the growing demands of growing populations.
Saudi Arabia is the most active in this regard with the development of three desalination plants at the same time, Al Khobar desalination plant in the Eastern Province, with a capacity of 210,000 cu m of water per day, which opens in Q2 2021; Yanbu plant with a capacity of 450,000 cu m in Q4 2020, and finally a station in the city of Jizan with a 450,000-cu-m capacity opening in the second quarter of 2022.
The UAE is developing Taweelah plant in Abu Dhabi with a capacity of 450,000 cu m of water per day, with a planned opening in Q4 2022, and the Jebel Ali plant complex with a capacity of 150,000 cu m of water per day and will open in Q2 2020.
© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2019.