Largest desalination plant produces its first water

Production of water has started at what will be the largest desalination facility in the world, the 1,025 million m³/d Ras al-Khair (Ras Azzour) seawater plant northwest of Jubail in Saudi Arabia.

The state-owned Saudi Press Agency made the announcement on 23 April 2014, quoting the Minister of Water & Electricity, Abdullah Al-Hussayen, who said the cost of the complex, which includes a 2.6 GW power plant, was Riyal 27 billion (US$ 7.2 million).

Built by Korea’s Doosan Heavy Industries, the hybrid desalination facility has a capacity of 160 MIGD 727,000 m³/d) multi-stage flash (MSF) evaporation and 67.5 MIGD (307,000 m³/d) reverse-osmosis membrane filtration. It will supply water from the Gulf to 3.5 million people in the Riyadh area.

The eight 20 MIGD (91,000 m³/d) MSF evaporators are the largest so far constructed in the world with the highest capacity. Doosan won the order for the project for US$ 1.76 billion from Saline Water Conversion Corporation in September 2010.

Commissioning is due to be completed by the end of 2014.