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Saudi Water Company Highlights Innovative Desalination Technologies and Solutions During UK Tour

LONDON: Saline Water Conversion Corp. of Saudi Arabia concluded a four-day visit to the British capital to discuss and present its innovative desalination technologies and solutions to reduce costs and energy consumption.

The visit, which ended on Sunday and was led by SWCC Governor Abdulla Abdulkarim, included visits to universities across the country, meetings with water industry leaders and a discussion forum. Commitment to Water Innovation, where the company announced a new global prize of $15 million. for innovation in desalination, to be launched in January.

“Fifty years ago, Saudi Arabia, as a land of drought, decided to serve its nation by spending, investing in life, creating a source of abundant water and bringing that water from the coast to the cities where people live,” Abdulkarim told the forum. “This mission at the time was not easy.”

The SWCC is currently the largest desalination company in the world, supplying water to over 34 million people. It has shifted its focus, Abdulkarim explained, towards water accessibility and its contribution to different sectors, including healthcare, industry, agriculture, mining and renewable energy, in order to to help increase the gross domestic product of the Kingdom.

Abdulla Abdulkarim, governor of the Saudi Saline Water Conversion Corp., led a delegation to London to share expertise and find solutions to water shortages. (A photo)

“We take responsibility for (making) fresh water… abundant, accessible, and then affordable for the whole nation… to do our best for the next generation, but we won’t do it on our own” , he said, adding that the SWCC is partnering with the aforementioned sectors.

Abdulkarim said that the SWCC, which is responsible for 20% of the world’s desalinated water production, continues to dominate the world market using the latest technologies, noting the construction of a new plant in Jubail with a capacity of 1 million cubic meters, with other announcements. come.

Tariq Al-Ghaffari, acting president of the Desalination Technology Research Institute, said the aim of the UK visit was to address future challenges.

“Water scarcity has increased, and our goal was to focus more on innovative ideas, have a more efficient system and reduce energy consumption. We covered many interesting topics including brine extraction,” he told Arab News.

During the forum, held at the Institution of Civil Engineers, SWCC announced a new $15 million global prize for desalination innovation. (A photo)

Al-Ghaffari said the SWCC is not only aligned with Saudi Vision 2030 but also globally as the company’s research, development and innovations are in line with market demands.

“We are committed to reducing carbon emissions by 34 million tonnes over the coming years, and this will have a big impact not just in the Kingdom but around the world,” he added.

“I think the future is water. We need to (promote) a culture of people who understand the value of water, and that’s why we seek to share our experience with these people and tell them about what we have and what we can bring to our bright future ahead,” says Al-Ghaffari.

During the visit, the SWCC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Water Association to develop a partnership to push the boundaries of desalination, exchange expertise and support the SWCC in organization of events, said Kalanithy Vairavamoorthi, Executive Director of the IWA. .

He said his organization was also keen to attend the forum to learn more about the Desalination Innovation Award, which seeks creative ideas to grow the desalination industry.

“The IWA is very interested in learning more about this award and understanding what’s cutting edge in desalination, and the SWCC is really leading the industry on this,” Vairavamoorthi said.

“We see this long-term relationship as an attempt to understand what the water management challenges are in water-scarce regions, how desalination can fit into this portfolio of solutions, and what kinds of technologies need to be developed. to make them sustainable systems moving forward,” he also said.

Saudi national Mohammed Hassan Al-Maghrabi, a researcher at the Oxford Thermofluid Institute, University of Oxford, said the SWCC visited the institute and met the head of the lab and senior researchers, who were inspired by the ideas of the governor and were ready to change direction and orientation.

SWCC’s UK tour included visits to universities across the country and meetings with water industry leaders. (A photo)

“It was actually amazing how they changed the minds and opinions of top scientists on where they should be focusing in the next two years; the opportunities are endless when it comes to water,” he said.

Al-Maghrabi, a final year student, said it was “amazing” to see how Abdulkarim was leading this movement and “opening the door to the whole world” by investing in these projects and innovations.

Quoting the head of his lab, Al-Maghrabi said, “The SWCC will be the next Saudi Aramco, and that’s the future,” which he added was “all about water, because water means life for the whole world”.

He added: “I am proud to be part of this country, to be part of this leadership that is leading the whole world to be more sustainable and to rely on renewable energy”.

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