Saudi Arabia produces 18 percent of the world's desalinated water, according to the annual report issued by the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), which runs the country's 28 desalination plants on the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf coasts. "The SWCC's total supply increased 15 percent in 2015 compared to the previous year," the report said, adding that the corporation meets 60 percent of the Kingdom's water requirements.
Fifty-five percent of desalination plants are located on the country's east coast and 45 percent on the west coast and they produce a total of 1.3 billion cubic meters of water daily.
SWCC's dual purpose plants also generated 3.72 million megawatt/hour of electricity in 2015, which is a 25 percent increase compared to 2014.
The corporation has established a number of new pipelines, pumping stations and storage tanks in 2015.
"We have been making continuous efforts to improve the desalination process, making use of the corporation's research and development center and in association with universities and research centers inside the Kingdom and abroad," a SWCC official said.
SWCC signs agreements with international research centers to develop the desalination process and reduce cost. "We also meet the requirements of clients for desalinated water and electricity, providing supplies at the lowest possible cost and making good economic returns."
The total length of newly established pipelines is over 7,000 km, an 8 percent increase over 2014. "We have established 56 new pumping stations and 285 water storage tanks in 2015," the official said. The total capacity of storage tanks reached 12.69 million cubic meters during the year.
As part of efforts to develop desalination plants, SWCC's research center developed new technologies to reduce the cost of production.
"We have signed agreements with Korean, American and French companies to develop technologies and participated in national and international conferences and exhibitions to showcase our expertise and services," the official said.
SWCC introduced a creativity and innovation award last year to encourage its employees to come up with new ideas to develop the water desalination process and improve the corporation's services and reduce energy consumption. Five winners were selected from 156 entries last year.