Dow mulls $100m Saudi water investment
Company aims to bring RO technology to Kingdom
The Dow Chemical Company has announced plans to invest around $100m to deliver technologies for water desalination processes in Saudi Arabia.
The company said the manufacturing facility for reverse osmosis (RO) elements was the first outside of the United States, with construction set to start soon.
Jerome Peribere, executive vice president of The Dow Chemical Company and president and CEO of Dow Advanced Materials, told Arabian Business that the facility was slated for completion in 2014-15.
It would deliver local supply security of cutting-edge technologies for water desalination and water re-use for potable, non-potable and industrial water serving Saudi Arabia, the surrounding Middle East and North Africa region and emerging markets worldwide, the company added in a statement.
Peribere added: “We are in the process of evaluating the whole thing but it [investment] would be in the region of $100m.”
He said Dow was still working on partners in Saudi Arabia for the project.
“Reverse osmosis is the next step for Saudi Arabia as most of the technology Saudi Arabia uses is thermal desalination, which is a technology which is essentially used in Saudi Arabia and not anymore anywhere else in the world because of its energy consumption,” he said.
On the benefits of reverse osmosis technology, he added: “We believe this is in line with the objectives of the kingdom to save energy and use energy where it can be most valued, including for exports.”
High-performance DOW Filmtec membranes are used in some of the most water-challenged areas of the world, including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Algeria.
"The kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a key market for Dow Water & Process Solutions. This new proposed world-class facility will increase our ability to deliver the most advanced, affordable and sustainable water sourcing and treatment options for desalination, wastewater treatment, and other applications," added Dr Ilham Kadri, commercial director for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Dow Water & Process Solutions.
"Dow is committed to the vital water conservation and purification needs of the region, and to combatting water shortages that limit economic development."
This announcement builds on the recent decision by The Dow Chemical Company and Saudi Aramco to form Sadara Chemical Company, a joint venture to build and operate a world-scale, fully integrated chemicals complex in Jubail Industrial City.
Upon completion, the joint venture is projected to be among the world's largest petrochemical facilities and would represent the largest foreign direct investment into Saudi Arabia's petrochemical sector.