The move will help boost supply of desalinated water by Saline Water Conversion Corporation until the completion of various projects underway
RIYADH, February 11, 2018 — King Salman has issued an order for the allocation of SAR 175 million per year for the purchase of desalinated water from mobile plants in order to meet growing demand in the Kingdom, according to the official Saudi Press News Agency (SPA).
Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Abdulrahman Alfadhley said that this generous allocation of funds will in a short amount of time help boost the supply of desalinated water by Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) until the completion of various projects by SWCC, the government corporation that operates desalination plants and power stations in Saudi Arabia.
“These mobile stations will be used to increase water supply in some areas of the Kingdom,” the minister was quoted by SPA as saying on Saturday, as he thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their continuous support for water desalination projects.
On his official Twitter account, Alfadley noted: “This is another generous support from the wise leadership of the water sector. We will increase our ability to provide increased demand until completion of projects.”
The mobile plants will be used to hike the supply of water in Jazan and Asir southern regions first, noted the minister, who is also the Chairman of SWCC. He said these mobile plants, which use reverse osmosis, will later be moved to other regions in a short period of time.
“SWCC will invite qualified companies to submit their bids and then contract with the company that has the best bid,” the minister said.
Last month, Alfadley said Saudi Arabia plans to build nine water desalination plants on the Red Sea coast, at a total cost of more than SAR 2 billion and with total production capacity of 240,000 cubic meters of water per day. The project to build the plants, to be ready in less than 18 months, was supported by the King and the Crown Prince.
Saudi Arabia has a total of 31 desalination plants in 17 locations. Water security is a key challenge for the country, which has invested heavily in seawater desalination, making the Kingdom the world’s largest producer of desalinated water. SWCC has been recognised by Guinness World Records as the largest water desalination company in the world with a daily production capacity of 5 million cubic metres. Guinness World Records said that it verified the figure on February 4.
According to the Global Food Security Index 2015, 97 percent of Saudi Arabia’s population has access to potable water, despite the harsh desert climate in the Kingdom where the annual rainfall is very low, evaporation rates high and groundwater is being depleted.
Saudi Arabia’s population grew by 2.52 percent to 32.5 million by the end of 2017, according to figures released in January by the General Authority for Statistics.