Japanese teach UAE a water sustainability lesson

New plant to showcase commercial viability of recycling.

The Al Ghail wastewater treatment plant in Ras-Al-Khaima.
The Al Ghail wastewater treatment plant in Ras-Al-Khaima.



A wastewater recycling plant designed to become a benchmark for the more sustainable use of water was inaugurated in the northern emirate of Ras Al Khaima on Monday.


The US$4.5 million project was financed by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation (NEDO), a Japanese governmental organisation that promotes energy and water efficiency worldwide.

The operational model includes the procurement of the wastewater as well as selling the end product. The revenue will go towards paying the plant’s construction and maintenance costs.

With the project, NEDO aims to showcase the commercial viability of recycling water in the UAE, and hopes to convince municipalities and utilities of the model.

The plant was built and equipped by Hitachi Plant Technologies, using their latest filtering technology. “The systems installed under this project are expected to reduce energy requirement for water treatment by more than 30 percent while providing a secure water supply," said Manabu Shimokawa, Vice President and Executive Officer at Hitachi Plant Technologies at the opening ceremony.

The Japanese company will also operate the plant for the coming three years, before handing over the plant over to the Ras Al Khaima Investment Authority (RAKIA), who are responsible for selling the filtered water. Hitachi has teamed up with the Al Ghurair Group for projects in the UAE.

The plant recycles 3.000 hectolitres of sewage into 2.000 hectolitres of water treated with membrane bioreactor (MBR) filtering technology for agricultural use, and 1.000 hectolitres treated further with reverse osmosis (RO) technology for industrial use.

It is the first wastewater plant Hitachi will operate after constructing it. The company supplied the water recycling facilities to the Burj Khalifa Tower, where the recycled water is used to supply the magic fountain water spectacle.

The plant was in commission last week, and is ready to become operational now, according to Hitachi.




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