Veolia wins Az Zour MED desalination plant in Kuwait

Veolia Environnement announced on 13 January 2014 that its Sidem subsidiary had won the contract to build the seawater desalination plant at the Az Zour North complex in Kuwait for € 320 million.

Sidem will build the 486,400 m³/d multi-effect distillation (MED) plant, while its partner in the engineering, procurement and construction contract, Hyundai Heavy Industries, will build the 1,500 MW power station.

All the electricity and water will be purchased by the Kuwaiti government for 40 years. Work will begin before the end of 2013 and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2016.

The Az Zour desalination plant will account for approximately 20% of Kuwait’s installed capacity. Veolia is also in the start-up phase for the Az Zour South seawater desalination plant, which will have a daily capacity of 136,000 m³/d.

Veolia says that the MED technology chosen for Az Zour North is able to adapt to fluctuations in water demand over time. Additionally, it is among the most robust desalination techniques with one of the lowest energy consumptions available.

The construction of this desalination plant is part of the Az Zour North electricity generation and water production project located 100 km south of the Kuwaiti capital. Awarded a year ago to the consortium of GDF Suez Energy International (France), Sumitomo Corporation (Japan) and Abdullah Hamad Al-Sager and Brothers (Kuwait), this is the country’s first public-private partnership for an independent water and power project (IWPP).

This project is part of the long-term plan to develop Kuwait’s installed electricity generation and water production capacity.