Saudi Arabia tops MENA region in desalination investment: report
The total value of investment in the top 10 water desalination plants being developed in the MENA region amounts to AED 19.3 billion ($5.26 billion), with Saudi Arabia leading with investments worth AED 5.6 billion ($1.53 billion), research consultancy BNC Network said in a recent report.
Saudi Arabia is the most active in the region with the development of three desalination plants at the same time. These include Al Khobar desalination plant in the Eastern Province, with a capacity of 210,000 cubic meters per day (m3/day), which opens in Q2 2021; Yanbu plant with a capacity of 450,000 m3/day and opening in Q4 2020, and a 450,000 m3/day capacity plant in Jizan which will open in Q2 2022.
The UAE is investing AED 4.75 billion, distributed over two desalination plants: the Taweelah plant in Abu Dhabi, scheduled to be completed in the Q4 2022, and a plant in Jebel Ali, Dubai, scheduled for completion by Q2 of next year.
Jordan, Oman, Egypt and Morocco are investing AED 4 billion, AED1.84 billion, AED1.83 billion, and AED1.3 billion, respectively, the report added.
Meanwhile, Rashid Al Leem, chairman of Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA) told a conference in Abu Dhabi that the GCC countries have the highest global water desalination capacity of 81 percent while running production of around 40 percent of total world water desalination.
"This explains, on one hand, the development of 289 desalination plants on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea," he added.