Utilities Middle East

KSA launches first large scale desalinati­on plant to be 100% powered by renewable energy

The plant will entirely operate on power produced from solar and wind energy

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The Red Sea Developmen­t Company has launched the first desalinati­on plant that will entirely depend rely on renewable energy to produce fresh water.

The plant, built by the Red Sea Developmen­t Company, the developer of a mega-tourism project on Saudi Arabia’s western coast, in collaborat­ion with renewable drinking water specialist­s, Source Global, will be the largest of its kind in the world.

It will entirely operate on power produced from solar and wind energy.

The plant has a planned capacity of two million bottles of water a year and will begin production with 300,000 bottles annually in the next few years, according to Ahmed Ghazi Darwish, chief of staff at Red Sea Developmen­t.

Mr Darwish said at least one-third of jobs at the plant would be reserved for Saudi citizens, who will be trained on-site.

According to the company’s website, the plant will produce water using “hydro panel” solar technology, which draws water vapour out of the air and converts it to drinking water.

Mr Darwish said the performanc­e of the panels would be monitored through a smart applicatio­n that will show the volume of water produced, the environmen­tal impact of the panels and issue maintenanc­e alerts.

The desalinati­on technology sourced from Saudi companies.

Saudi Arabia has been leading the world in desalinati­on technology, boasting some of the largest plants in operation.

The Al Jubeil plant, north of Dammam on the Arabian Gulf coast, produces 1.4 million cubic metres per day.

Red Sea Developmen­t secured $3.76bn in funding for the project through the first locally-denominate­d Green Financing credit facility.

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