Saudi Arabia to allocate $18bn for desal projects
KSA produces 20% of the world's total desalinated water
Saudi Arabia plans to allocate approximately US $18bn on new desalination plants by 2020 in a bid to meet the rising demand of consumers, Asharq Al-Awsat daily reported.
Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) chief Abdulrahman bin Mohamed Al-Ibrahim said it is importance to build highly-efficient and less-fuel consuming water projects.
The desalination water plants in the Kingdom is the second largest fuel consuming sector using up to 300,000 barrels of oil a day. "It is a matter of grave concern for the experts at the SWCC and nationwide," Asharq Al-Awsat said.
The SWCC chief said the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, the Ministry of Water and Electricity, and the Ministry of Finance are set to launch a series of highly fuel-efficient water and power projects.
This drive will raise the efficiency of the newly-approved plants to 70 percent as is the case with the projects currently being implemented in Ras Al-Khair and Yanbu, Al-Ibrahim said.
Saudi Arabia has been producing roughly 20 percent of the world's total saline water production. The SWCC covers 60 percent of the Kingdom's total water needs through its plants spread over the eastern and western coasts of the Kingdom, he added.
Al-Ghamdi said the SWCC has entered into partnerships with the private sector through two mega projects -- the Shuaiba water and electricity project and the Shaqiq Plant to produce nearly one million cubic meter desalinated water.
The SWCC has carried out three renovation plans for a period of five years each. The plans were implemented in 2000 and are expected to finish in 2015, where the renovation efforts will increase the life span of the plants to more than 15 years, he pointed out.