Saudi Arabia has announced the launch of 26 water, environmental and agricultural projects in the Tabuk region of the kingdom at a total cost of more than SR2.5 billion ($667 million).
These projects, which include four desalination projects worth SR1 billion, and 5 projects for water transmission systems valued at SR1 billion - were inaugurated by Prince Fahd bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Tabuk Region, at key ceremony held in Tabuk.
In addition to four projects worth SR84 million for water services in the region, the governor also opened seven projects for developing water resources at a cost of SR100 million.
The launch of these projects comes as a major boost to the Saudi Arabia’s Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) which has announced plans to open six new desalination plants by 2024 in a phased manner across the kingdom in major cities including Jubail, Alkhobar, Al Shuqaiq and Al Shoaiba.
Of these, two plants will be launched by the end of this year, said senior SWCC officials on the sidelines of the ongoing Innovation Driven Desalination conference in Jeddah.
According to them, the Saudi production of desalinated water now stands at more than 7.9 million cu m per day (which accounts for nearly 55% of the Gulf region and 22.2% of the global desalination share).
On the sidelines of the conference, SWCC signed strategic agreements with Veolia Water Technologies Saudi Company, a unit of leading French utility major Veolia, in bid to contribute to the proportion of local content by localizing the various desalination industries.
SWCC also sealed a co-operation agreement with Al Kawthar Manufacturing Company as part of its efforts to raise the percentage of local content in the desalination industry through the localization of various industries.
Speaking at the event SWCC Governor Abdullah Al Abdul Karim said: "Our engineering cadre draw a map of the future of the "desalination industry", with this global gathering of experts and specialists from the world. We share ideas to turn them into valuable solutions... so that innovation proceeds from the vision of our leadership and our humanitarian mission."
SWCC also signed a supply contract with Saudi Al Salwa Company for Metal Forming, Valves and Filters in bid to boost the contribution of Saudi firms to the kingdom's economy in line with the Vision 2030.