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Qatar’s new plant boosts desalination capacity

The Ras Abu as plant A2 (RAF A2) will add 36 millions per day to the current 328 gallons per day capacity in Qatar.

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The water desalination capacity in Qatar has gone up by 36 million gallons per day with the inauguration of the the $504m Ras Abu as plant A2 (RAF A2).

Desalination capacity is set to raise further with the laying of the foundation stone of the $500mn Ras Abu as plant (A3). It will have a capacity of 36 million gallons per day and will be the first in Qatar to use the energy efficient reverse osmosis method, reported Gulf Times.

''QEWC currently produces 328mn gallons of high-quality desalinated water a day and this would reach 350mn gallons a day during 2018 after the operation of the Um Al Houl plant,'' said Fahad Hamad al-Muhannadi, Electricity and Water Company (QEWC) managing director during the inauguration on Tuesday, which was also attended by HE Sheikh Abdulla bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani, Qatar’s Prime Minister and Interior Minister.

The current production of electricity amounts to more than 8,600mw and this will go up to 11,000mw by the first half of 2018, he said.

''Both RAF A2 and A3 are products of co-operation between Kahramaa and QEWC and part of the country's strategic plan regarding water and electricity supplies,'' said He Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada, Qatar’s Minister of Energy and Industry.

''QEWC has a plan to increase the supply of electricity and desalinated water through the Um Al Houl plant, which is considered the largest in the region with a production capacity of 24,000 megawatt of electricity and 130mn gallons of water a day,'' he added.

The contract for the construction of RAF A2, located 10km away from Doha, was signed in January 2013 with local financing from QNB, Barwa Bank and Qatar Islamic Bank.

The plant operates by the evaporation multi-stage desalination method.

RAF A3 is set to be implemented by three international companies: Mitsubishi, Japan; Acciona, Spain; and TCL, Thailand. The first stage of the project is scheduled to be completed by September 2016.

Al-Muhannadi pointed out that reverse osmosis technology, proven over three decades, costs 40 per cent less than thermal desalination stations. The water returned to the sea has no thermal impact to the sea water and such a plant can be operated without using a gas turbine.

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