Saudi Arabia world’s largest water desalinator
Desalinized seawater currently constitute Saudi Arabia’s chief source for drinking water, reported Al-Sharq Al-Awsat , positioning the kingdom first in the world in terms of seawater desalinizing volume.
Official statistics released by the Saudi Water Desalinizing Public Authority show that the 27 desalinization stations operating throughout Saudi Arabia produced 797 million cubic meters of potable water in 2000. This quantity met 70 percent of local demand for drinking water during that same year.
In addition, these stations generated 3,421 megawatts/hour of electrical power in 2000, which is equivalent to 20 percent of the total electricity produced in the Kingdom that year.
The Saudi higher economic council is presently evaluating a proposal from the ministry of water and agriculture to construct water-desalinizing stations in the Kingdom in cooperation with the private sector, on a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis.
The council is expected to conclude its report within two months, opening the door for 10-20 billion Saudi riyal ($2.6-$5.3 billion) investments over the next 20 years, according to Al-Hayat.
More than 20 national and global companies have already submitted their offers to construct the 15 required water-desalinizing stations along the western and eastern coasts of Saudi Arabia. The per station construction cost is estimated at SR 3.5 billion ($933 million). — (Mena Report)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)