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Saudi Arabia, Japan to Build First RO Membrane Manufacturing Plant in ME

Saudi Arabia and Japan have partnered to construct an integrated reverse osmosis membrane manufacturing plant.


The Saline Water Conversion Corporation has signed a contract to build the first reverse osmosis membrane plant in the Middle East and the second of its kind outside Japan. 


SWCC said that the plant will be based in Dammam and will have a total capacity of 254,000 and is scheduled to start operations in 2025. 


The facility is a joint venture between Abunayyan Holding and Toray Industries. In February 2014, the two companies had announced the setting up of Toray Membrane Middle East (TMME) at an investment of $80 million to manufacture RO membranes.


The project aims to enhance Saudi Arabia’s leadership potential and to adopt and maximize the use of its engineering capabilities in the desalination industry, by providing innovative solutions that make water sources sustainable, environmentally friendly, and highly energy efficient.


Eng. Abdullah Al-Abdul Karim, Governor of SWCC, said during an event that the environment-friendly reverse osmosis membranes industry was one of the most important options for the desalination industry in the world, adding that the demand for this technology was increasing at an annual rate of 6 percent locally and 7 percent in the Gulf.


He added: “These industries will soon create abundant and attractive investment opportunities that support local content, with local production inputs exceeding 70 percent. It is expected that the export percentage of the entire production of the membrane factory will exceed 30 percent, which reinforces the country’s position as a vital base for leading industries with its promising opportunities and markets.”


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