SWCC Produced 60% of Saudi Arabia’s Desalinated Water Last Year

Jun 25, 2014 8:58 am ET

June 25 (Bloomberg) -- Saline Water Conversion Corp. produced 1 billion cubic meters of desalinated water last year to supply the rising demand from a growing population and the energy industry in the Arab world’s biggest economy.

The company produced 25 million megawatts of power at 27 desalination plants, which provided electricity to 41 cities and housing centers, the official Saudi Press Agency said, citing SWCC’s annual report. The production of 3.6 million cubic meters a day of desalinated water by SWCC represented 60 percent of the kingdom’s output, the news service said.

Saudi Arabia allocated 16.6 billion riyals ($4.4 billion) this year for desalination projects. The kingdom is expanding water works to supply the oil and gas industry and a population that’s quadrupled in 40 years to 30 million. The desert country is the largest producer of desalinated water, attracting such investors as Veolia Environnement SA and Suez Environnement.

State-owned SWCC plans to boost water production to 7 million cubic meters a day by 2014, the al-Eqtisadiah newspaper said last year. The increase is through desalinated water- purifying projects coming on line, including Ras Al Khair, the Yanbu 3 plant, another in Rabigh and Jeddah 3.

Saudi Arabia in April started producing purified water at the 27 billion-riyal Ras al-Khair desalination plant on the Persian Gulf, SPA said. The complex northwest of Jubail will be the world’s biggest seawater desalination facility with a production capacity of 1.025 million cubic meters of drinking water a day and 2,600 megawatts of electricity when fully built after this first phase, according to the news service.

Riyadh-based Saline Water is the second-largest producer of power in the country after Saudi Electricity Co., SPA said.