GE and Miahona to Advance Water Reuse Technology in Saudi Arabia
As Saudi Arabia faces an increasing demand for water to support its rapid population and economic growth, GE (NYSE:GE) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Miahona, a subsidiary of the Arabian Company for Water and Power Development Ltd. (ACWA Holding) to support the Kingdom's goal for sustaining a reliable water supply and meet wastewater management requirements.
"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has one of the fastest growing economies in the Middle East, and the wastewater and water reuse issues need to be addressed now, in order to sustain this rapid growth over the next five years," said Professor Walid A. Abderrahman, Managing Director of Miahona. "We are pleased to be working with GE, a global energy leader in water technologies in the areas of chemicals, equipment and advanced membranes to deliver innovative and advanced water solutions for the Kingdom, as part of our commitment to continue investing in projects focused on increasing the supply of usable water for the country."
Combining GE's global water technology experience and expertise with Miahona's established local presence and knowledge of regional water needs, the MOU provides a framework for promoting the use of advanced membrane technology such as Membrane Bioreactors in water reuse and the pursuit of wastewater treatment, wastewater reuse and zero liquid discharge projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Miahona and GE will also mutually cooperate on projects related to Well Injection utilizing GE's advanced Increased Oil Recovery (IOR) and Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) solutions. A key expectation is for GE to deliver advanced technology and treatment solutions to meet the Kingdom's environmentally conscious municipal and industrial wastewater discharge regulations.
"This MOU with Miahona reflects GE's active response to the Kingdom's call for more private sector initiatives to establish and manage water reuse projects and plants," said Joseph Anis, GE Energy's president for the Middle East. "These initiatives and commitments, combined with education about the critical issues facing the energy industry today, can go a long way toward achieving a sustainable water future for the Kingdom and the region."
The Middle East and North Africa region has five per cent of the world's population and less than one per cent of the world's available water supply1. Several Middle Eastern countries including Saudi Arabia are evaluating stringent reuse goals. The water reuse market in Saudi Arabia is expected to be worth $3.4 billion between 2009 and 2016, making it the third largest water reuse market in the world.2 Saudi Arabia's advanced treated water reuse capacity is growing annually at a rate exceeding 30 per cent and is expected to reach 2.2 million cubic meters per day by 2016 from its current level of 260,000 cubic meters per day.3
The MOU also builds on GE's water technology presence in Saudi Arabia, and follows the opening last year of the 7,500 square meter GE Water & Process Technology Center in Dammam, which represents a $10 million investment.
With a presence that spans over 70 years in Saudi, GE has expanded its energy presence in the Kingdom through public-private partnerships and a strong footprint of facilities in service repair support and customer training centers in power, water and oil & gas. With more than 800 GE employees, Saudi Arabia has the largest GE workforce in the Middle East.
Notable recent projects featuring GE's advanced energy solutions include Marafiq, the world's largest independent water and power project with the capacity to produce more than 2.7 gigawatts of power and 800,000 cubic meters per day of desalinated water, thereby integrating water and power production at a single site. Other noteworthy GE water projects include providing a fleet of mobile water systems (for seawater and brackish water treatment) to the Al Tamimi group in the "GET Water" Partnership. Currently more than 60 mobile units are in operation, with each unit capable of treating up to 1,500 cubic meters of water daily. GE has also supplied a300-bed facility to the International Media Center in Jeddah to treat and recycle 250 cubic meter/day of water. The treated effluent is then used for various functions such as landscaping. Both projects are helping to conserve freshwater supplies in the country.