Salalah desalination plant
Salalah desalination plant

Abengoa Agua completes construction of the desal plant in Oman

With the completion of this project, the company is consolidated as a world leader in desalination with an installed capacity of 1.8 million m3/d.

The company, through the parent company of its water division Abengoa Agua, has completed the construction of the reverse osmosis desalination plant that it was developing in the city of Salalah, in the Dhofar region, for a consortium led by ACWA Power and also composed of Veolia and Dhofar International for Investment and Development Co SAOG. The Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) has acted as offtaker.

The desalination plant, which has a capacity of 113,500 m3/d, began to produce water in December 2020 and once the operational tests were completed, it began its commercial operation in March of this year. This plant reinforces the supply of drinking water to this region of southern Oman which, like others in the Middle East, suffers from water scarcity problems. In addition, the desalination plant facilities are designed to produce up to 120,000 m3/d if necessary.

From the point of view of its design and construction, the Salalah desalination plant has been an important challenge, since it is capable of adapting to the changing climatic conditions of the area and, in particular, to the deterioration of sea water quality, caused by the meteorological phenomenon called “Khareef”. This phenomenon, which occurs between June and September, causes an increase in microbiological activity that, together with rainfall, wind and waves, contributes to a significant increase in suspended solids, algae and turbidity of the water of sea.

To face these increases, the design of this desalination plant includes a very robust seawater pretreatment line composed of a Dissolve Air Flotation (DAF) plus a double stage multimedia filtration with gravity and pressure filters.

Specifically, Abengoa Agua, in consortium with Fisia Italiampianti, has been responsible for the engineering, supply and construction of this project whose scope included the seawater intake, pretreatment, reverse osmosis system with energy recovery, post-treatment, product water storage and brine discharge through an outfall.

The completion of this project consolidates the company as a leader in the international desalination sector, in which it has get important achievements in recent years due to the size, complexity and importance of the projects it has developed. This is the second project that the company has carried out in Oman, where it already has the Barka I desalination plant, with a production capacity of 45,000 m3/d. Currently, it has a global installed capacity of about 1.8 million m3/d that will be expanded to 4.3 million m3/d when the portfolio in execution will be completed. Some of the projects that are under construction are considered a reference in the sector as the largest reverse osmosis desalination plant in the world, located in the Taweelah power and water generation complex, in the United Arab Emirates, with a production capacity of 909,000 m3/d.

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