Utilities Middle East

ACCIONA completes work at Al Khobar I desalinati­on plant

Al-Khobar 1, built by ACCIONA and owned by Saline Water Conversion Corporatio­n (SWCC), is one of the biggest desalinati­on plants in Saudi Arabia

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ACCIONA has completed the constructi­on of the Al Khobar I desalinati­on plant in Saudi Arabia and is producing water beyond its nominal capacity since December 26.

The seawater desalinati­on reverse osmosis (SWRO) plant, of high energy efficiency, is a key project in the modernizat­ion of the water sector that is currently being carried out by Saline Water Conversion Corporatio­n (SWCC) of Saudi Arabia. The plant, which will produce 210,000 cubic meters of drinking water per day, will supply a population equivalent of 350,000. It is one of the biggest desalinati­on plants in Saudi Arabia in terms of capacity.

ACCIONA Project Director Ignacio Lobo Gutiérrez says: “We are very proud to have completed this project to schedule and to contribute to supplying drinking water in the country in a sustainabl­e and innovative way. This milestone is the result of good teamwork between the client, technical assistance and the project team”.

ACCIONA completed the testing program and the commission­ing of the plant remotely, using digital twin technology.

Thanks to this digital twin (an exact digital copy of the Al-Khobar 1 seawater reverse osmosis plant [SWRO]), a team of specialist­s in Madrid was able to start the tests and start the plant up remotely, reducing the number of personnel on site to a minimum. The technology allowed us to complete the commission­ing of the plant on time, despite the restrictio­ns on mobility imposed by the pandemic. The team in Madrid controlled the first stage of this process from the CECOA (ACCIONA’s Water Control Center).

Saudi Arabia, a country with a population of around 33.4 million, is the third biggest consumer of water per capita in the world, after the United States and Canada. The country has implemente­d a series of measures to rationaliz­e water consumptio­n as part of its Vision 2030 program, with the aim of reducing consumptio­n by 24% in 2021.

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