Largest solar powered desalination plant to be built in Al-Khafji

Updated 11 December 2013
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Largest solar powered desalination plant to be built in Al-Khafji

The Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) said Saudi Arabia plans to build the world’s largest solar-powered water desalination plant in Al-Khafji Governorate on the Arabian Gulf coast that will have the capacity to produce 30,000 cubic meters when completed.
The SWCC Gov. Abdulrahman Al-Ibrahim told a local newspaper that solar energy is one of the most popular renewable energy sources and Saudi Arabia, obviously, has an abundance of it, adding that the SWCC will be supervising the plant operations in collaboration with the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology.
He said the membrane technology will be utilized in existing desalination plants in the country as to reduce gas emissions resulted from the burning fuel. “We started the countdown to close down chimneys at all plants,” he said, adding that membrane technology “doesn’t require the presence of boilers on the plant’s chimneys.”
He said the third reverse-osmosis station in Jeddah is based on membrane technology to maintain the environment. It produces 240,000 cubic meters daily.
The projected Um Al-Khair plant on the eastern coast will produce more than 1 million cubic meters of water every day, in addition to its electrical capacity to produce 2,500 megawatts. The station is one of the biggest in the Middle East.
Um Al-Khair project will be connected to the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) to complete the installations of major generators in the plant to produce electricity. “Within the next few months, Riyadh region will be supplied with more than 150,000 cubic meter desalinated water through the plant’s main pipe network.”
The third phase of Yanbu Plant project on the west coast is being completed. “It will produce 2,650 megawatts of electrical energy and 550,000 cubic meter of desalinated water to serve Madinah and its surrounding villages," he said.


EU’s Barnier urges UK to accept EU court deal for Brexit

Updated 4 min 52 sec ago
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EU’s Barnier urges UK to accept EU court deal for Brexit

  • Brexit negotiator says Britain playing "hide and seek" by delaying details on trade relationship.
  • UK ministers decry remarks as not "helpful."

BRUSSELS: EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier warned Britain on Saturday that failing to agree a deal on the governance of a withdrawal treaty which preserves the primacy of the EU court would mean no treaty and no transition period.

Barnier also described British delays in spelling out what kind of trade relationship London wants as “a game of hide and seek” in remarks prepared for delivery to a gathering in Portugal of jurists specialized in EU law.

He chided British criticism of EU positions as a “blame game,” urging London to recognize that it could not retain many elements of EU membership after Brexit.

The sharp tone of the former French minister’s remarks follow several days of talks in Brussels between his team of EU negotiators and British counterparts, after which a senior EU official dismissed as “fantasy” both London’s overall proposals for future close relations and an offer to avoid a disruptive “hard border” between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.

British ministers said those remarks were not “helpful.”

Barnier said he was ready to have “political level” talks to try to advance in three key areas where uncertainty remains, 10 months before Britain is due to leave in March 2019 — how to rule on future disputes over the withdrawal treaty, a “backstop” solution for the Irish border and a framework for future ties.

Referring to discussions within Prime Minister Theresa May’s government on whether to drop an insistence on having no customs union, he said: “If the United Kingdom would like to change its own red lines, it must tell us. The sooner the better.”
“We are asking for clarity,” he added. “A negotiation cannot be a game of hide and seek.”

On the issue of the governance of a withdrawal treaty, which both sides hope to have ready around October, Barnier repeated the EU’s insistence that primacy of the European Court of Justice inside the Union be maintained in regulating any dispute that could not be resolved by a joint committee appointed by the political leadership of the two sides.

“We cannot accept that a jurisdiction other that the Court of Justice of the European Union determines the law and imposes its interpretation on the institutions of the Union,” he said.

The role of British judges would be respected, he added.

But without an agreement on this, the whole deal would collapse: “Without an agreement on governance, there will be no withdrawal agreement and so no transition period.”

Many businesses are counting on an interim accord to maintain a broad status quo between Britain and the EU after Brexit until the end of 2020.

Barnier, who has been hoping to making substantial progress on key issues before May meets fellow EU leaders at a Brussels summit in a month, also criticized what he called a “blame game” in which British officials were accusing the EU of failing to show flexibility to allow continued close cooperation in areas such as security, the economy and research.

This, Barnier said, was to ignore the close legal framework within the EU which was the basis for trust and cooperation among its nation-state members. “We cannot share this decision-making autonomy with a third country,” he said.

“The United Kingdom must face up to the reality of the Union ... It is one thing to be inside the Union and another to be on the outside.”