The seawater desalination capacity of GCC countries was expected to grow by at least 37 per cent in the next five years with regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia spearheading the growth with investments worth nearly $100 billion by 2020, said a report released ahead of the second edition of Mena Desalination Projects Conference in Abu Dhabi.
A major industry event, Mena Desalination Projects Conference will run from March 10 to 11 in Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
The event boasts more than 400 regional and international stakeholders from government, consulting, contracting and supply chain to highlight the region’s national sustainability visions driving the 2030 water agenda.
According to the 'Mena Desalination Market' report by Ventures Onsite, the kingdom is responsible for about one-fifth of global production and leads the world in the volume of desalinated water it produces which makes up 50 per cent of its water consumed.
The country is also the largest desalination market in the world producing around four million cu m of desalinated water per day, and $80 billion is expected to be invested in new projects over the next ten years.
The UAE too is also developing key desalination projects, with the Taweelah plant in Abu Dhabi expected to have a capacity of 909,200 cu m of water per day and will be 44 percent larger than the world’s current largest reverse osmosis plant and will open in Q4 2022.
The Jebel Ali plant complex with a capacity of 150,000 cu m of water per day and will open in Q2 2020, and Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority is building a desalination project with a daily 60 million Imperial gallons (MIGD) capacity by 2022, as it looks to meet rising water demand in the emirate.
According to the report, water scarcity in the Mena region is of a rising concern, particularly as governments are moving away from reliance on traditional water resources to meet population demands, report findings have revealed.
According to the 'Mena Desalination Market' report by Ventures Onsite, the region's investment in the water desalination market has increased substantially - around 48 per cent of global water desalination projects are taking place within the region - and is likely to hit $4.3 billion by 2022.
The report pointed out that the Middle East remained one of the most water-stressed regions in the world, with seawater desalination contributing over 90 per cent of all daily water requirements.
GCC countries have the highest global water desalination capacity of 81 per cent, producing around 40 per cent of the total world water desalination, stated the report released ahead of Mena Desalination Projects Conference.
Commenting on the event, Dr Corrado Sommariva, the CEO of Sustainable Water and Power Consultants, said: "The way the conference has been structured and the key participants at the event are unique."
"It is a perfect blend of key water sector players that brings together the public sector, the region’s vision for the future development, and the industry which has to follow through with innovation and sustainable solutions," he added.
To be officially opened by the Saudi Water Conversion Corporation, the event will feature a two-day exhibition, project showcases, governmental panel discussions and case studies involving project owners and top consultants in the region.