ACWA Power, a leading Saudi developer, investor, and operator of power generation, water desalination and green hydrogen plants worldwide, added 2.4 million cm3/day of water desalination capacity across four reverse osmosis megaprojects in 2022, the largest in a calendar year in the company’s history. This achievement brings the company’s total water capacity under management to 6.4 million cubic metres across 16 projects in four countries.
Kashif Rana, Chief Portfolio Management Officer of ACWA Power, said: "The world is facing an exponential water scarcity crisis due to rapidly increasing demand. In the Middle East especially, low rainfall is placing additional pressure on water infrastructure. ACWA Power has been at the forefront in mitigating water resources challenges over the past decade and a half through innovative, resilient solutions that are benefitting millions of people across the world. During 2022, despite global geopolitical challenges and cost pressures, our teams expanded our water desalination portfolio by over 30%. We are indeed proud to have added 2.4 million cm3 of water capacity/ day across 4 mega RO projects with the addition serving 5.5 million people in the GCC daily."
“Enhancing capacity is a significant milestone not only for us, but for our industry. I am confident that through our expertise we will continue to build water security reliably and responsibly for Saudi Arabia and the world,” he added.
All projects utilise reverse osmosis technology, which is up to 80% more energy efficient than traditional thermal desalination technology. Additionally, these projects produce water at less than US$0.50 per cubic metre, which is up to three-quarters lower than the tariff of US$2 per cubic meter just a few years ago.
Dr. Tariq Nada, Vice President, Water and Technical Service at ACWA Power, said: "As the leading water desalination operator in the world today, managing 6.4 million m3/day of desalinated water at lowest possible cost, ACWA Power is continuing to bring an innovative, and practical change to the industry, as we have been doing since 2006."
“Our projects showcase capacity, technological and financial breakthroughs. Because our teams are always working to iterate, and reiterate systems and models, we have an in-built optimisation mechanism that means our plants are not only pushing the technical and cost boundaries, but also ensuring positive environmental impact, through the use of low energy intensity solutions and environmentally friendly water cycles,” he added.
ACWA Power is currently producing desalinated water to meet the water needs of 40 million people daily based on average global consumption per household. Presently, it is responsible for fulfilling an estimated 30% of Saudi Arabia’s total water needs.
In 2023, the company is expected to add at least three more projects to its desalination portfolio which will increase its capacity by up to 15%.