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Belhoul (second from left) joins partners at the signing ceremony.

Masdar in water desalination plant tie-up

ABU DHABI, January 21, 2015

UAE-based Masdar Institute of Science and Technology said it has partnered with three leading advanced energy and clean technology corporations to execute a research project supporting the development of a completely solar-powered, full-scale seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination plant in the UAE.

The collaborators include Masdar - a future energy company which works to develop and invest in renewable and clean energy in Abu Dhabi (UAE); Laborelec - a subsidiary of GDF Suez, an international research center and technical service provider that specialises in electrical power technology and sustainable energy; and Degremont - a subsidiary of Suez Environment, a water treatment and services provider dedicated to finding sustainable water management solutions.

Laborelec’s Renewable Energy Research Program covers selected topics in solar energy, wind turbine efficiency, ocean power and biofuels. One of its notable contributions to the solar energy sector is the creation of a thin-film photovoltaic panel test pilot.

Degremont has already created 250 SWRO desalination plants and has achieved a laudable track record for incorporating the use of renewable energies for a plant's power supply, fostering internal energy recovery, and implementing procedures to disperse saline concentrates to protect marine flora and fauna.

Masdar said the UAE, which relies on desalination plants for most of its potable water, must turn to a more sustainable method of clean water production that can save costs in the long run and reduce carbon emissions.

These SWRO plants are powered by natural gas, which contributes almost a third of the UAE’s greenhouse gas emissions, said Fred Moavenzadeh, the president of Masdar Institute, after signing the deal with Ahmad Belhoul, the CEO of Masdar Corporate, Pierre Pauliac, the director Middle East of Degremont and Michael Marique, the managing director of Laborelec.

The agreement was sealed in the presence of Segolene Royal, French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, on the sidelines of the annual World Future Energy Summit (WFES) being held in Abu Dhabi.

Moavenzadeh said the agreement will help to leverage Masdar Institute's renewable energy experience and expertise to produce a cutting-edge SWRO plant powered exclusively by renewable energy.

"This research will help bring the UAE closer to its goal of producing a greater proportion of its electricity from renewable energy and will contribute significantly to the UAE’s research and development expertise," he stated.

All four collaborators have been deeply involved in renewable energy and/or SWRO research. Now, through their concerted efforts, they will be harnessing the synergy needed to find the most efficient and economical solutions for a solar energy-powered SWRO plant for the UAE.

Moavenzadeh said the research collaboration will focus on selecting the most practical and economical photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal energy technologies to supply a full-scale SWRO with locally produced renewable energy.

The parties will jointly work to develop an optimised design of the plant. They will then attempt to demonstrate, according to the particular conditions of a selected UAE site, the ability to produce the required quality and quantity of fresh water on a large scale, he added.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Masdar | Water desalination | plant |

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