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.


Abu Dhabi aims to lure start-ups with investment in new technology hub

Updated 24 March 2019
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Abu Dhabi aims to lure start-ups with investment in new technology hub

  • The initiative will help Abu Dhabi reduce reliance on oil
  • Mubadala hopes to attract Chinese and Indian companies

ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi will commit up to $272 million to support technology start-ups, it said on Sunday, in a dedicated hub as part of efforts to diversify its economy.

US tech giant Microsoft will be a strategic partner, providing technology and cloud services to the businesses that join the hub as the capital of the United Arab Emirates continues its push to reduce reliance on oil revenue.
Abu Dhabi derives about 50 percent of its real gross domestic product and about 90 percent of central government revenue from the hydrocarbon sector, according to ratings agency S&P.
The emirate launched a $13.6 billion stimulus fund, Ghadan 21, in September last year to accelerate economic growth. Ghadan means tomorrow in Arabic. The new initiative, named Hub 71, is linked to Ghadan will also involve the launch of a $136 million fund to invest in start-ups, said Ibrahim Ajami, head of Mubadala Ventures, the technology arm of Mubadala Investment Co.
The goal is to have 100 companies over the next three to five years, Ajami said. “The market opportunities in this region are immense,” he added.
Mubadala, with assets of $225 billion and a big investor in tech companies, will act as the driver of the hub, located in the emirate’s financial district.
Softbank will be active in the hub and support the expansion of companies in which it has invested, Ajami said, adding that Mubadala is also aiming to attract Chinese and Indian companies, among others.
Mubadala which has committed $15 billion to the Softbank Vision Fund, plans to launch a $400 million fund to invest in leading European technology companies.
Incentives mapped out by the government include housing, office space and health insurance as part of the $272 million commitment, Ajami said.
Abu Dhabi will also announce a new research and development initiative on Monday linked to the Ghadan 21 plan, according to an invitation sent to journalists.