Environmental Protection

Veolia Water to Build Another Desal Plant in Jubail City

Marafiq, Dow Chemical, and Saudi Aramco chose the company to design, build, and operate what will be the largest ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis desalination plant in the kingdom.

Another desalination plant will be built in Jubail City, Saudi Arabia, as a result of a contract issued to Veolia Water by Marafiq, a Saudi Arabian water and electricity services operator. The contract calls for Veolia Water to design, build, and operate what will be the largest ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis desalination plant in the kingdom, according to Veolia Water’s July 2013 announcement, which said with the contract, Veolia Water will generate $310 million in revenue for the plant's design and construction and $92 million in revenue for its operation for 10 years, with an option to extend the contract for 20 additional years.

Marafiq already distributes water from nine multistage flash distillation (MSF) and reverse osmosis plants. The new one will have a capacity of 178,000 cubic meters daily and will supply the Sadara petrochemical complex built by Dow Chemical and Saudi Aramco in Jubail Industrial City II when it becomes operational in June 2015, according to Veolia Water's announcement.

Veolia Water, through its subsidiary Sidem, has designed a plant combining the two seawater treatment solutions, ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis. Its description of the project says an initial treatment phase involving dissolved air flotation captures the suspended particles in the water and ultrafiltration, and then the water is desalinated by reverse osmosis membranes before being remineralized. "The combination of these various processes will ensure a secure water supply, limit the risk of plant failure and extend its lifespan, while at the same time reducing the site's energy requirements and costs," it states.

Sidem constructed the first desalination plant in Jubail City, a plant with capacity of 800,000 cubic meters per day, making it one of the world’s largest.

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