Abengoa signs world first large renewable desalination plant deal

Saudi-based water treatment specialist, Advanced Water Technologies (AWT) has appointed Spanish conglomerate, Abengoa, as its partner in the development of the world’s first, large-scale desalination plant to be powered by solar energy.

The plant will produce water at 60,000 m³/d to supply Al Khafji City in North Eastern Saudi Arabia. Abengoa said the project incorporates a photovoltaic array capable of supplying the power required by the desalination plant to significantly reduce its operational costs.

The facility will also have a system to optimize power consumption and a pre-treatment phase to reduce the high level of salinity, the oils, and fats that are present in the region’s seawater.

AWT is the commercial arm of the King Abdulaziz City Science and Technology in the Saudi capital, Riyahd, and is owned by Taqnia. The newly formed company said its mission was to bring affordable water solutions through innovation and sustainability. The deal is AWT’s first move into desalinated water production. And it will increase Abengoa’s global desalination capacity to nearly 1.5 million m³/d.