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Tackling water challenges in the Middle East: the role of submersible pumps and motors

Ingeteam Hydraulic Testing Laboratory - Beasain, Spain.
Ingeteam Hydraulic Testing Laboratory - Beasain, Spain.
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The Middle East faces the pressing challenge of meeting the needs of its growing population while maintaining a healthy balance of its water ecosystems. In this context, where innovative solutions are a must to make every water drop count, Ingeteam Water brings a focus on pumping solutions and optimizing water cycle management.

Known for its captivating landscapes and vibrant cultural heritage, the Middle East holds great historical significance. In recent decades, it has also become an innovation hub in many fields. The one we will examine in this article can be summed up in one word: Water. 

Published in SWM Bimonthly 18 - June 2023
SWM Bimonthly 18

A precious resource, its increasing scarcity is making it more valuable with each passing day. Although a trendy topic of global significance, the Middle East is not new to the challenges of water management. Throughout the centuries, the arid Middle Eastern climate has forced its growing civilizations to explore ingenious ways to harness the power of the water on hand and face the pressing issues brought by water scarcity. Nowadays, this has translated into groundbreaking projects that are reshaping the water landscape of the region. From ancient civilizations and hydraulic engineering marvels to today’s leading-edge technologies, the region has seen dry lands turn into fertile farms and mega-cities thriving in the desert.

In the Middle East, as water and energy go hand in hand, efficiency becomes key, and submersible pumping solutions are an interesting option

Through improving agricultural productivity, supporting industrial advances, and driving urbanization, water can be a true catalyst for progress in any area, and the Middle East is no exception. With this in mind, efficient water use in the region has undoubtedly laid a strong foundation for a stable economy and sustainable environmental practices in the region.

Submersible technology has exceptional durability and requires little maintenance, which translates into substantial economic savings

Of all the challenges faced by the Middle East, perhaps the most pressing is meeting the needs of its growing population while maintaining a healthy balance of its vulnerable water ecosystems. Climate change effects are noticeable as they have brought on severe droughts and exacerbated water scarcity, creating a breeding ground for transboundary conflicts. Amplifying this issue, the Middle East, although known for its significant energy reserves, is confronted with the complex relationship between energy production and water management.

Fluctuations in the global energy market, intertwined with the increased water demands have driven a strong focus on energy efficiency in the water sector, intending to reduce the energy footprint of water management in the Middle East. As for infrastructure conditions, they significantly vary across the different countries. Some have achieved modern water facilities, while others still struggle to upgrade and maintain aging systems. As a consequence, they face deteriorating equipment leading to considerable water losses, in addition to water shortages, and increasing maintenance costs.

  • Indar BF Pump - Designed for a water treatment plant.
  • Indar H Pump - High flow pumping for a desalination plant.

In the face of such serious difficulties, innovative solutions are a must to make every water drop count. From Beasain, in Spain, Ingeteam Water brings a focus on pumping solutions and optimizing water management throughout the entire cycle. With a product portfolio of Indar submersible pumps and motors as well as control systems, frequency converters, and operation and maintenance services, we cater to both conventional and non-conventional applications from deep groundwater intake, to desalination as well as wastewater management and water reuse. What makes us different? High levels of product customization to every project and context.

In Saudi Arabia for example, some of our pumps are designed to operate at water temperatures higher than 70 degrees Celsius

In the Middle East, as water and energy go hand in hand, efficiency becomes key. Consequently, submersible pumping solutions are a really interesting option. For instance, for deep well intakes, our Indar centrifugal multistage pumps are compact and allow optimizing coupling-related efficiency losses compared with other technologies. Moreover, with fine-tuned hydraulic designs, the most precise control of water flows is possible, which translates into significant energy savings in the long run. Due to rising energy costs, this argument becomes valuable for sustainable management of water resources in the region.

Our solution of choice for wastewater treatment is our BF pump, a centrifugal volute pump typically coupled to an air-filled motor

In addition, submersible sets require little maintenance which also translates into substantial economic savings. As for the Indar water-filled motors, they are maintenance-free and can be relied on for years, requiring very little care. In addition, this makes the submersible technology the best choice for exceptional durability. Indeed, in some of the arid regions of the Middle East, water scarcity imposes resilient and reliable infrastructure to sustain the lives of their population. The more robust the water system, the more maximized is water production. Moreover, Ingeteam’s submersible solutions are designed to withstand harsh environments such as extreme air and water temperatures that can be found in these areas. In Saudi Arabia for example, some of our pumps are designed to operate at water temperatures higher than 70 degrees Celsius. In addition, our volute and axial pumps can also withstand significant solids content, all the while remaining a silent solution, advantageous for populated areas, by bringing no disturbance to inhabitants.

It is also important to mention that Ingeteam Water answers to high-quality standards and every single one of our motors and pumps is tested in our state-of-the-art facilities in Beasain. Our 30 m deep test bench is a testimony to the company’s investment in excellence. It allows us to test even our biggest products with parameters of up to 21.600 m3/h, 1000 m head, and 13.8 kV.

  • Indar multi-stage pump displayed in the factory
  • Indar UGP Pump - Pump Installation for the Irrigation Sector

Ingeteam has been active in the Middle East for years, on many inspiring and challenging applications, aiming to face an array of challenges. Many projects are a testimony to our teams’ expertise and years of experience. In the middle of the Egyptian desert, dozens of Indar UGP centrifugal pumps are elevating water from the depths of the aquifers effectively reclaiming acres of desertic lands, creating life out of dryness by use of the latest agricultural practices. The entire design of the pumps was adapted to the wells’ diameters, limiting drilling. Their water-filled motor is environmentally friendly, making any risks of oil contamination impossible. In addition, they are all equipped with a bidirectional bearing that makes non-return valves unnecessary, hence eliminating any operational difficulties and maintenance needs that they can bring.

Ingeteam has been active in the Middle East for years, on many inspiring and challenging applications, facing an array of challenges

Some hundreds of kilometres to the East, numerous Indar pumps are contributing to pumping seawater in Saudi Arabia, The Emirates, and Oman. Adapting to warm seawater challenges, our equipment’s electrical and material design has been carefully thought out to operate most optimally. In installations where the water level is too low to ensure the required suction conditions, the UGP-M comes into play. The pump suction located at the bottom of the set allows for maximizing its submergence. It also optimizes pumping and allows for an efficient use of the available water.

Ingedrive LV 800 Frequency Converter.
Ingedrive LV 800 Frequency Converter.

When freshwater resources are limited, their recycling and reuse prove essential. Our solution of choice for wastewater treatment is our BF pump, a centrifugal volute pump typically coupled to an air-filled motor, designed for charged water. The numerous installation options, as well as a wide range of materials of construction, make BF pumps a very versatile product that contributes to reducing the strain on water supplies in the Middle East.

Looking ahead, as investments in water systems are expected to increase, they will enable the region to enhance its water supply capacity and significantly improve access to fresh water for its growing population. In parallel, strong attention to water conservation and demand strategies will continue the promotion of water optimization initiatives. In tackling these important challenges, identifying the right partner is key. This is where Ingeteam’s expertise in pumping solutions stands out. With a deep understanding of the Middle East water challenges and a proven track record in innovative solutions, we are committed to continue being the right partner in meeting the region’s needs.