Enowa and Veolia envision a “green” desalination plant in a futuristic Saudi city

Saudi Arabia – Enowa, the energy, water and hydrogen subsidiary of Neom, announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Japanese trading company Itochu and the French specialist in water, waste and energy management solutions. Veolia Energy for a joint collaboration to develop a first-of-its-kind selective desalination plant powered by 100% renewable energy within the cutting-edge manufacturing and innovation city of Neom – Oxagon.

Scheduled to produce its first water in 2024, the new facility will be key to realizing Enowa’s ambitions to create a sustainable and abundant water supply for residential, industrial and commercial use, a statement from Neom said.

In line with Neom’s commitment to developing a circular economy, the new state-of-the-art plant will use advanced membrane technology to produce separate brine streams.

This allows Enowa to produce brine-derived products, which will be further developed and monetized downstream. The brine, which is generally considered a waste product from desalination, will be used to produce significant quantities of valuable industrial materials that can be used locally or exported internationally, he said.

Commenting on the agreement, Enowa CEO Peter Terium said: “Partnering with world leaders in sustainable water solutions is key to Neom’s ambition to become a global benchmark for water systems. built-in durable water heaters. At Enowa, our vision is to create a sustainable abundance of life’s most essential resources. elements, all in harmony with nature.”

“We will produce, treat and reuse water in one of the most water-stressed regions in the world, through sustainable, innovative and integrated solutions. This new desalination plant is an example of the type of sustainable and circular economy that we are developing to achieve our zero carbon footprint and zero waste goals,” said Terium.

According to him, the new plant will meet Neom’s water needs with a production capacity of 500,000 m3 of desalinated water per day by the project’s completion in 2025, or about 30% of the total expected water demand. by Neom.

In line with Neom’s environmental objectives, it will use advanced and innovative membrane separation technologies to produce water, as well as concentrated brine streams.

This allows the brine to be classified as a product rather than a waste, thus minimizing the environmental impact of the plant and redefining the entire business model of desalination plants of the future. The brine generated by the desalination plant will be processed by Enowa to supply industries using raw materials of high purity industrial salt, bromine, boron, potassium, gypsum, magnesium and rare metals.

Kenji Otsuka, CEO of Middle East Bloc of Itochu, said he was delighted with the company’s collaboration with Enowa and Veolia to develop this landmark desalination plant in Neom that advances the concept of Zero Liquid Discharge.

“With our global experience, Itochu will strengthen our contribution to a sustainable lifestyle in line with the kingdom’s and Neom’s goal of creating a low-carbon, recycling-oriented and innovative society,” he noted.

Welcoming the key initiative, Pascal Grante, CEO of Veolia in the Near and Middle East, said that this project is part of the circular economy model that Veolia aims to deploy in all its projects around the world.

“This MoU supports Enowa’s ambition to develop advanced green desalination systems and create future water solutions to address global water scarcity. The Enowa team is changing the future of water supply with pioneering desalination systems and technologies,” he noted.

Gavin Van Tonder, Executive Director of Enowa Water Sector, said: “Enowa aims to provide a model of green and sustainable water production, management and treatment, which can be scaled up around the world. . The technology developed under this MoU and used in Neom to provide water could be exported to other countries to address global water shortages.”

Launched in March this year as the energy, water and hydrogen subsidiary of Neom, the futuristic $500 billion Saudi city, Enowa is committed to transforming nature’s abundance through design and technology.

It aims to take advantage of Neom’s clean slate approach and establish the production and regulation of energy, water and hydrogen using circular systems and an economic framework. sustainable, realizing a substantial return on investment with a zero footprint, he added.

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