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.
“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,” said Kashif Rana, Chief Portfolio Management Officer, ACWA Power. “During 2022, despite global geopolitical challenges and cost pressures, our teams expanded our water desalination portfolio by over 30 percent. We are indeed proud to have added 2.4 million cm3 of water capacity/day across four mega RO projects with the addition serving 5.5 million people in the GCC daily”.
All projects utilise reverse osmosis technology, which is up to 80 percent more energy efficient than traditional thermal desalination technology. Additionally, these projects produce water at less than $0.50 per cubic metre, which is up to three-quarters lower than the tariff of $2 per cubic metre just a few years ago.
“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,” said Dr Tariq Nada, Vice President, Water and Technical Service. “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 percent 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 percent.