Veolia to build Saudi desalination plant at Sadara petrochemical project

Veolia Water will design, build and operate the largest ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis desalination plant in Saudi Arabia, the company announced on Tuesday.

With this contract, Veolia Water will generate $310 million (€232 million) in revenue for the plant's design and construction, and $92 million (€69 million) in revenue for its operation for 10 years, with an option to extend the contract for a further 20 years.

With a capacity of 178,000 m3 per day, this new plant will supply the Sadara petrochemical complex built by Dow Chemical and Saudi Aramco in Jubail Industrial City II. That complex is due to come on stream in June 2015.

Dow Chemical and Aramco will produce solvents and glues for the automotive and packaging industries at the Sadara site. The water supplied will be used in this immense facility's two cooling towers and as boiler feed water.

To meet the very strict water quality standards required by local officials and minimize this new plant's impact on the environment, Veolia Water, through its subsidiary Sidem, has designed a plant combining two seawater treatment solutions: ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis.

After an initial treatment phase involving dissolved air flotation to capture the suspended particles in the water and ultrafiltration, the water will then be desalinated by reverse osmosis membranes before being remineralized.

The combination of these various processes will ensure a secure water supply, limit the risk of plant failure and extend its lifespan, while at the same time reducing the site's energy requirements and costs.

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