SAUDI ARABIA LOCALIZES THE WATER DESALINATION INDUSTRY
The Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) agreed on cooperation and engineering support with Saudi companies specializing in the construction of desalination plants and water transmission systems. These companies have proven their ability and high expertise in the localization of engineering and technical works during their recent works that they have partnered with SWCC, including the construction of desalination plants and giant transportation systems led by Rawafed Industrial and Bohoor Company, which raised them to the status of 100% Saudi companies.
In a similar move, SWCC signed a contract to localize the reverse osmosis membranes industry for desalinated water. The company also announced the establishment of an integrated staged factory, the first of its kind in the Middle East, for the manufacture of reverse osmosis membranes, and the second integrated factory in the world made through joint Saudi and foreign investment outside Japan. The project is being held in partnership with the Local Content and Government Procurement Authority, where Toray Middle East will set up the factory with diversified production lines, high-quality products that are the highest in the world in terms of reducing energy consumption, long operational range, and top environment-friendly specifications.
The factory’s production will meet the increasing demand of this promising industry locally and globally, and is expected to achieve 2025 revenues of 690 million riyals in the Kingdom and the Gulf. Among the characteristics that distinguish the product in whose research development SWCC will participate, is that it will reduce the average cost by more than 14%, and decrease energy consumption at a rate starting from (4%).
On this occasion, His Excellency the Governor of Desalination, Eng. Abdullah bin Ibrahim Abdul Karim, said: “The environment-friendly reverse osmosis membranes industry is one of the most important enablers of the desalination industry globally, and is an important industry whose demand is increasing at an annual rate of 6% locally and 7% in the Gulf. We aim to localize this basic and strategic product which delivers new industrial value that contributes by driving growth and diversifying the economy.
Eng. Abdullah announced that the plant’s production will start in 2025, and is expected to achieve a return on GDP of 1.14 billion within only 5 years, with an annual impact on trade balance of 135 million riyals, and, in addition to the water sector, will serve the oil, gas and industry sectors, with a production capacity of 254 thousand membranes, 10% of which will meet the needs of SWCC, and 55% of the production will be allocated to the local water sector, relative to 5% for the oil and gas sector, while 30% of the products will be exported to cover external demand, noting that 70% of production inputs will be locally sourced.
Eng. Abdullah added saying: “We share with the stakeholders, various sectors, owners of industrial facilities, and contractors the next steps of the future of the desalination industry, based on an integrative and economic perspective that focuses on producing a new generation and a young national leadership given the strength, efficiency, and high potential of the Saudi contractors who are distinctively participating in the execution of big water desalination projects, and exporting their expertise and industry knowledge abroad, utilizing the giant production systems that internationally enjoy large capacities of up to 600,000 cubic meters/day using RO techniques.
Today, we signed an investment agreement with a Saudi company to produce bromine in quantities of up to 16 thousand tons, aiming by 2024 to meet 30% of the domestic demand, in addition to its contribution to the domestic product by 150 million riyals every year by 2024 and 1.5 billion riyals annually by 2030, as well as the investments by the private sector, starting from 800 million riyals annually in 2024 and reaching 8 billion riyals yearly in 2030, by its specialization in the production of minerals with direct impact on developing growth opportunities and reducing the cost of several local industries, in a manner that pushes up economic prosperity, in line with Vision 2030.