Abengoa (MCE: ABG.B/P SM /NASDAQ: ABGB), the international company that applies innovative technology solutions for sustainability in the energy and environment sectors, has been selected by Advanced Water Technology (AWT) to jointly develop the world’s first large-scale desalination plant to be powered by solar energy, in Saudi Arabia.
AWT is a newly formed company based in Riyadh whose mission is to bring affordable water solutions through innovation and sustainability. It is the commercial arm of KACST (King Abdulaziz City Science and Technology) and is owned by Taqnia. The plant will produce 60,000 m3 of water a day to supply Al Khafji City in North Eastern Saudi Arabia, ensuring a constant water supply throughout the year.
This is a global pioneering project since it incorporates a photovoltaic plant that will be capable of supplying the power required by the desalination process, significantly reducing the operational costs. It will also have a system to optimize power consumption and a pre-treatment phase to reduce the high level of salinity and the oils and fats that are present in the region’s seawater.
Al Khafji desalination plant will ensure the stable supply of drinking water, contributing to the country’s socio-economic development. As in other cities in Saudi Arabia, water is a scarce resource. Abengoa and AWT will supply the local population with water needs in a sustainable and reliable way.
This latest contract will further consolidate Abengoa’s leadership position in the water sector, increasing its total desalination capacity to nearly 1.5 M m3/day, enough to supply 8.5 million people around the world. It will also strengthen its position in the Middle East where it has already been awarded major projects in the water sector, such as the Barka desalination plant in Oman, and in the energy sector, such as the region’s largest solar plant, in Abu Dhabi.
For AWT, this represents its initial foray into the upstream activities of desalination water production. It plans to expand its activities in the near future to include downstream activities such as water reuse and water management.