Hassyan seawater desalination plant in Dubai
Hassyan seawater desalination plant in Dubai

Veolia Wins $320 Million Water Technology Contract for World’s Most Energy-Efficient Desalination Plant, in UAE

Veolia, the world water technology leader, through its subsidiary SIDEM, will engineer and supply key technology for the Hassyan seawater desalination plant in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Commissioned by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and ACWA Power, the plant will be the second largest desalination plant based on reverse osmosis (RO) technology in the world, and the largest desalination plant powered by solar energy. This significant project underlines Veolia's commitment, reaffirmed in its new GreenUp strategic plan, to provide sustainable, low-carbon and energy-efficient solutions, while guaranteeing the preservation of water resources in a context of adaptation to climate change. 

Located approximately 55 kilometers southwest of Dubai Creek, the Hassyan desalination plant will have a capacity of 818,000 cubic meters per day (m3/d) — 180 million imperial gallons per day (MIGD) — providing a safe and reliable source of drinking water to two million people. The plant will start operating in 2026, with a gradual ramp-up to full capacity in 2027. The project is part of a broader strategy to sustainably increase water desalination capacity, to help support Dubai's increasing demand for water in domestic and commercial settings. Furthermore, this plant will be the largest desalination plant powered by solar energy in the world. 

This project will feature an exceptional energy efficiency performance, with an incredibly low energy consumption rate of 2,9 kilowatt-hours per cubic meter (kWh/m3). SIDEM's extensive expertise in large-scale desalination, including the critical pre-treatment and post-treatment stages, has helped maximize the potential of RO technology in terms of energy efficiency, reducing the energy consumption of RO desalination plants by a further 35% over the past 10 years.

The plant is located near the Jebel Ali Wetland Sanctuary, a Ramsar protected site recognized by the Convention on Biological Diversity as an ecologically or biologically significant marine area of international importance. To ensure the uninterrupted nesting process of endangered turtles, construction activities have carefully been planned around the breeding season. Additionally, the plant adheres strictly to environmental laws and regulations in terms of composition, temperature and quantity of brine discharged, with discharge areas thoughtfully selected to mitigate any potential impact on the ecosystem. 

Estelle Brachlianoff, Chief Executive Officer of Veolia, said : “All over the world, people are looking for solutions to climate change. The watchword is adaptation: at Veolia, we have solutions to act as a catalyst for ecological transformation, which is the thrust of our GreenUp strategic plan. This latest achievement confirms our leading position in water technologies. Our commitment to high operational and environmental standards has been the driving force behind our leadership in desalination for over 50 years. Our efforts have made the impossible possible, reducing the energy consumption of large-scale desalination to 2,9 kWh/m3.”

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