Saudi's SWCC records 3.3pc rise in desalinated water

JEDDAH - Saudi Arabia's Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) recorded a 3.3 per cent increase in the amount of desalinated water produced in the kingdom during the fiscal year of 2007, totalling 1.066 million cubic metres compared to the previous year’s volume.

By From Our Correspondent

Published: Sat 2 Aug 2008, 11:39 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:48 AM

In the report carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Minister of Water and Electricity Abdullah bin Abdulrahman Al Hussayen, who is also chairman of SWCC, reiterated the keenness of the Government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz to develop the SWCC and improve its operational efficiency.

“From this standpoint, Royal directives have been issued to privatise and restructure the Corporation within the framework of the State’s policy towards privatisation of all water utilities,” he said.

He added that the privatisation of the Corporation is moving ahead in the right direction. So far, five of the seven stages set for the completion of phases of the privatisation programme have been completed, leaving only two stages of restructuring and special regulations as well as determining tariffs, issuance of the necessary decisions, identifying buyers and preparing the bidding documents for investors.

In the foreword to the report he stressed the importance of water conservation as a precious national resource for which the government has been exerting great efforts for the development of water sources and has spent billions of riyals to construct 30 desalination plants on the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea coasts.

SWCC attributed the increase to the completion of the reconstruction programme for the desalination units at the fourth desalination plant in Jeddah Governorate and the second plant in Al Khobar Governorate within the overall coverage of the programme, implemented by the corporation for the reconstruction of a number of projects.

The report said that nearly 30 plants are providing desalinated water for use in the Kingdom. Six of these plants are built along the east coast (Arabian Gulf) of the Kingdom and the rest of the 24 water desalination stations are located on the west coast (Red Sea). These plants provide the largest industrial base for water desalination in the world.

During the fiscal year under review, the quantity of the desalinated water from the six east coast plants increased by 3.2 per cent compared to 2006 while the quantity of the desalinated water from west coast plants increased by 3.4 per cent.

The report said that in addition to SWCC’s efforts in the sphere of the production of desalinated water, it continues to make strides in the electric power generation field from the plant in Al Ardh where the amount of electrical energy produced during 2007 increased to 21 million megawatts.

With regard to the private sector’s participation in desalination projects, the report said that work is underway to implement a number of cogeneration projects that were approved by the Supreme Economic Council, which gave an opportunity for the private sector’s participation and investment on the basis of specific criteria, providing for 66 per cent to investor, 32 per cent to the Public Investment Fund and 8 per cent to Saudi Electricity Company.

According to the report, the number of projects that received the private sector’s investment include: the third phase of Shuaiba plant with a daily production capacity of 1.30 million cubic metres of desalinated water and 900 megawatts of electricity; the second phase of Al Shuqaiq plant with a daily production capacity of 212,000 cubic metres of the desalinated water and 850 megawatts of electricity, and the third phase of Jubail plant which was merged with Marafiq Company's project in Jubail to reach a total daily production capacity of 800,000 cubic metres of the desalinated water and 2, 500 megawatts of electricity.

The report drew attention to the Royal approval to include Yanbu city project in its third phase within the plants that will be implemented with the private sector participation and a daily production capacity of 400,000 cubic metres of desalinated water.

The work is under way for the implementation of desalination plants in six Governorates including Al Wajh; Rabigh; Leith; Qunfudah; Farasan and Omluj. These will have a total daily production capacity of 63,000 cubic meters of desalinated water, involving a capital expenditure of SR801 million.

The report added that Jeddah Project (Phase III) has been using reverse osmosis process with a daily production capacity of 40,000 cubic metres of the desalinated water daily and Haql project (phase III) and Dheba Project (Phase IV) with a joint daily production capacity of 9,000 cubic metres of desalinated water, and Al-Wajh Project (phase IV) with a daily production capacity of 13,500 cubic metres per day of desalinated water.

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