07. November 2023 ǀ Saudi Arabia’s visionary city, Neom, is leading the way in sustainable water solutions with the construction of a desalination plant powered entirely by renewable energy.
In Saudi Arabia’s innovative new city of Neom, a desalination plant, powered entirely by renewable energy, is under construction.
Building a sustainable future: Neom’s revolutionary desalination plant
The project is set to be established on the Oxagon in Neom, which is expected to be the world’s largest floating structure and projected to house a population of 90,000 by 2030. Enowa, Neom’s subsidiary specializing in energy, water, and hydrogen, has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Itochu, a Japanese trading company, and Veolia, a company offering solutions for water, waste, and energy management, to collaborate on this development.
The facility is designed to produce 500,000 cubic meters of desalinated water per day, fulfilling 30% of the city’s anticipated total water demand for residential, industrial, and commercial use through reverse osmosis. This new desalination plant is one example of the type of sustainable infrastructure and circular economy we are developing to meet our zero-carbon footprint and zero-waste goals.
A key objective of the OXAGON is to ensure that all its residents and industries have access to affordable 100% renewable energy. By 2025, a green hydrogen plant, in a joint venture with Air Products and ACWA Power, is slated to come online and is anticipated to be the first among several similar plants for renewable energy.
“We will be producing, treating, and reusing water in one of the most water-stressed regions in the world, through sustainable, innovative and integrated solutions,” stated Peter Terium, CEO of Enowa.”This new desalination plant is one example of the type of sustainable infrastructure and circular economy we are developing to meet our zero-carbon footprint and zero-waste goals,” he further added.
Embracing circular solutions: Advanced technology and sustainability at Neom’s desalination plant
With circular solutions in mind, Neom and OXAGON have been designed to integrate industry 4.0 and the circular economy. The new desalination plant aligns with this vision. Advanced membrane technology will be employed to generate separate brine streams and brine-derived products, which will be further developed and monetized downstream, as reported by the Saudi Press Agency.
“The technology developed as part of this MoU and used in Neom to provide water could be exported to other countries to tackle global water scarcity.”
Enowa intends to distribute recovered brine-derived resources to industries that utilize high purity industrial salt, bromine, boron, potassium, gypsum, magnesium, and rare metal feedstocks.
“We aim to provide a blueprint for green, sustainable water production, management, and treatment, which can be scaled throughout the world,” expressed Gavin Van Tonder, executive director of Enowa Water Sector. “The technology developed as part of this MoU and used in Neom to provide water could be exported to other countries to tackle global water scarcity.”