Saudi utility firm plans to double production
Dammam, March 18, 2012
State-run Saudi utility Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) plans to nearly double energy-intensive desalinated water production to almost six million cubic metres per day by the end of 2015, its governor said.
SWCC now produces 3.3 million cubic metres per day of desalinated water, supplying more than half of Saudi Arabia's needs, Abdulrahman Mohammed Al Ibrahim said.
Water consumption in the kingdom is already almost double the per capita global average and increasing at an even faster rate with the rapid expansion of population and industrial development.
Al Ibrahim said Saudi water use at households is around 250 litres per capita.
'We hope this amount will be rationalised... supply and demand must be balanced.'
Minister of Water and Power Abdullah Al Husayen said last year that demand for water was rising by more than seven per cent a year and that more than $133 billion of investment would be required over the next decade in the sector.
Demand for desalinated water, rising by around 14.5 per cent, is seen reaching 5.7 million cubic metres per day by 2014, Al Ibrahim said in a speech at an industry event.
SWCC plans to quadruple its investments in 20 years from a 2012 budget of SR15.5 billion ($4.1 billion) in capital investments, he said.
SWCC's plants on the Rest Sea coast burn oil - crude, fuel and cracked oil - while gas is used in those located on the Gulf coast, the heart of the kingdom's oil wealth. The firm has 36 plants.
'Raising efficiency is a national concern,' he said and added SWCC was trying to diversify technology and use all forms of energy, including solar and nuclear, pending a national strategy.-Reuters