French and Kuwaitis sign solar desalination agreement

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Sabah Al- Khaled Al- Hamad Al-Sabah have signed a memo of understanding for implementing a project for water desalination using solar energy.

The two sides sealed the commitment at the recent inauguration of the Az Zour reverse osmosis desalination plant 100 km south of Kuwait City when Fabius congratulated Kuwait and his country’s water technology giant Veolia for their co-operation in completing the project which began operation in July last year.

The 136,000 m³/d plant has upped the output on the Az Zour site to 660,00 m³/d – an increase of 26%. Veolia constructed the plant under a five-year design build operate deal signed in 2011 with Kuwait’s ministry of electricity and water, in partnership with Al Ghanim International.

The plant uses seawater discharged from the cooling system of an adjacent power station. The increased temperature of the water compared with normal seawater, reduces operating costs according to Veolia.