Dow enables sustainable fresh water supply in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Published December 27th, 2009 - 11:39 GMT

The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) has been awarded by the Ministry of Water and Electricity in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia the order to supply its state-of-the-art water nanofiltration technology in the Ha’il Nanofiltration Plant. This plant, expected to come online in the second half of 2010, will be the first nanofiltration plant in the Kingdom, and the largest in the Middle East. Dow’s technology will filter radioactive agents in the naturally occurring fresh water wells underground in Ha’il at a rate of 150,000 m3/day – enough to supply the daily clean water needs of 500,000 to 750,000 residents.

The award now makes Dow the first and only supplier of water nanofiltration technology in the Kingdom, and is the outcome of two years of testing and innovative technology development by Dow Water & Process Solutions (DW&PS) – a business unit within Dow responsible for providing some of the most innovative water technologies for industrial and residential applications.  DOW™ FILMTECTM Nanofiltration NF90-400 elements will be supplied through distribution partner Abu Nayyan Trading Company (ATC), to the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), EMCO.

Clean underground fresh water resources in Ha’il are diminishing. Water that naturally seeps back into the wells is contaminated with various naturally-occurring heavy metals and minerals underground, like Radium. When government health authorities started to notice an increase in water-related health concerns, they determined it to be related to the naturally-occurring, underground leaching of heavy metals to the region’s fresh water supply. In 2008, Dow and the Ministry of Water and Electricity installed the first NF plant with a capacity of 25,000 m3/day using DOW™ FILMTEC™ NF90-400 elements; this is expected to be fully online by the end of 2009, and the 150,000 m3/day plant will come online by the end of 2010.

Zuhair Allawi, Commercial Director for Dow in India, Middle East and Africa said, “This is an extremely significant commercial milestone for Dow and our Water and Process Solutions business unit. But more importantly, this is a technological milestone for the region, and for Saudi Arabia in particular. The public authorities have elected to use the latest innovations in the market, to be the first to leverage nanofiltration technologies in the region, in order to secure sustainable clean water supply to Saudi citizens. Dow is proud to be part of this state-of-the-art installation.”

Lance D. Johnson, Dow Water & Process Solutions, global water commercial director echoed the fundamentals of innovation and partnership amongst Dow and the Ministry. “This is an inspiring example of private and public sector collaboration for the common benefit of the public. Dow’s advanced water treatment technologies are in place all over the world, but the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a key market for us. We believe there is a sustainable role for our business in the Kingdom, where we believe Dow can continue to support the Kingdom’s sustainable development, and where we believe Dow can continue to deliver innovative solutions to everyday human needs like clean water.”

Dow, which has been present in the Kingdom for over 30 years,  recently announced that initial research at the planned Dow Middle East R&D Center at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) would focus on water and water treatment technologies. Substantial completion of the proposed state-of-the-art R&D center, to be jointly designed by the partners, is expected by the end of 2010.


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