Abengoa says commissioning for 600,000cu/m Jubail 3A desalination plant has begun

Jubail 3A is the first and largest desalination plant in the world to run on renewable energy

Abengoa has announced that commissioning has started on the 600,000cu/m day Jubail 3A desalination plant for ACWA Power. The firm said the project is being carried out in a consortium with engineering and construction firm SEPCOIII.

The Jubail 3A desalination plant is located south of the city of Jubail, in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia, in the north-eastern part of the country.

The Jubail 3A desalination plant has already started pumping seawater to the pre-treatment successfully as part of the tests at the start of commissioning. Once this phase has been passed, as well as all required contractual tests, the Jubail 3A desalination plant will enter commercial operation and produce drinking water for an equivalent population of 3,000,000 inhabitants.

“This milestone reaffirms Abengoa’s capacity to develop world-class desalination projects. Furthermore, the company continues to add achievements in the water sector in the Middle East, where it has built the Shuaibah III (250,000cu/m day) and Rabigh 3 (600,000cu/m day) desalination plants in Saudi Arabia, and Salalah (114,000cu/m day) in Oman. All of them are now in satisfactory commercial operation,” the statement said.

Jubail 3A will be the first and largest in the world to run on renewable energy generated by a solar photovoltaic plant. Thus, the plant will produce drinking water in a sustainable and efficient way, being the first experience worldwide on a commercial scale, the firm noted.

Abengoa has been responsible, in partnership with SEPCOIII, for the engineering, supply and construction of the plant. The project included seawater collection, pumping, pre-treatment, reverse osmosis system with energy recovery, post-treatment, pumping station, product water storage, effluent treatment, outfall discharge and photovoltaic solar field, as well as the associated electrical installations including the construction of a 380/33 kV electrical substation.

The statement added that development of the desalination projects currently in Abengoa’s Saudi Arabian portfolio are progressing well. The company recently completed the Rabigh 3 plant, which has been recognised by Guinness World Records, as the world’s largest reverse osmosis technology plant built to date.

Worldwide, the company has an installed capacity of three million cu/m day, which will be increased to four million cu/m day when the desalination projects under execution are completed. It has a portfolio of more than 30 desalination plants in 13 countries.

Early in May 2022, DEWA said its SWRO desalination plant at the Jebel Ali Power Plant and Water Desalination Complex was 96.5% complete. It was also revealed in May that over $2bn in desalination projects were underway in the UAE alone. Later in May, an Engie-led consortium also broke ground on a new sustainable desalination plant in KSA.

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