Importance of water treatment in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has one of the highest rates of water usage worldwide and is the largest nation without flowing surface water. For the desert nation, finding fresh supplies of drinkable water to support its burgeoning population and industrialization has long been a top priority. The entire amount of water consumed has surpassed 8 million cubic meters per day (m3/d) and is expected to reach 12.3 million m3/d by 2040, with each person using 263 liters of water per day (in 2019). With 7.6 million m3 generated daily, or 22% of worldwide output, the nation has emerged as the world's top producer of desalinated water since it began relying on technology in the 1950s. Even though the Saudi government has made sure that over 97% of its people have consistent access to drinkable water, the Kingdom's development objectives continue to place a high focus on the problem of rising demand and falling availability. Al Khabeer has emerged as effluent treatment plant supplier in Saudi Arabia to bring innovation and productivity together in light to fulfil water needs of Saudi Arabia. By October 2020, the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), a government-run company, operated 33 desalination plants spread across 17 locations in the Kingdom, accounting for about 69 percent of the country's total desalination (5.6 million m3/d) and 20 percent of the world's desalination.

Big Desalination Initiatives

With the publication of an official resolution providing a framework for private sector engagement through build-own-operate and build-own-operate-transfer schemes, the Kingdom started the construction of Independent Water and Power Projects (IWPPs) in 2002 in response to growing demand. Initially, Shuaibah III (constructed in collaboration with Bechtel), Jubail III, and Shuqaiq II were the three main IWPPs. Production on the Shuaibah III and Jubail III IWPPs began in August 2009 and April 2009, respectively, while the Shuqaiq II IWWP was finished in late 2010.

The majority of desalination operations have expansions planned or under way. One such project is the $600 million Shuqaiq III extension, which is expected to be completed in Q4 2021 and would service around 2 million people with an output of 450,000 m3/d. The project was given to the Spanish company Acciona, S.A. In addition, Acciona was selected in 2018 to serve as the principal contractor for the Al-Khobar I desalination plant, whose construction would cost more than $240 million and service 350,000 people daily. Al-Khobar I started producing water in September 2020 and is expected to generate 210,000 m3/d in total.

The Future of Water in Saudi Arabia

For American businesses providing technical services to the desalination and wastewater sectors, Saudi Arabia's water and wastewater industry has become an appealing market due to growing demand, significant government projects, and the government's early attempts at privatization. Al Khabeer is a leading water treatment plant supplier in Saudi Arabia to fulfil all the purity needs of Saudi Arabia’s water. While the government is trying to draw in outside investment, local private sector enterprises are searching for international technology partners and financiers to help them compete on new contracts and construct more plants, even if the Saudi government is spearheading the investment drive in the industry.