RIYADH: GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN
Published — Wednesday 5 December 2012
Last update 5 December 2012 3:14 am
Veolia Water Solutions and Technologies, Saudi-Industries (VWS) has pledged to work closely with the Kingdom to promote water conservation efforts, generate awareness about the need to recycle wastewater and search for sustainable waste management solutions. These initiatives will help to sustain the increasing demand for fresh water by the Kingdom’s growing population, while substantially minimizing the impact on environment.
VWS Managing Director Badr Ghawji made the pledge at the Saudi Water and Power Forum (SWPF) in Jeddah. “The Saudi water and wastewater treatment market has a high growth potential, mainly because of the large market size and healthy economic growth,” he said.
VWS is armed with innovative solutions and technologies to render better support to Saudi public organizations, private companies and industrial clients, said the VWS chief.
In line with the Saudi government’s program to utilize dam water as an alternative source, VWS has involved itself in projects for the Ministry of Water & Electricity. VWS has been awarded the process design and supply of water purifying units, pressure filters, and reverse osmosis plants.
The latter filtrate water through a series of membranes. The three methods are used in Asir Province to treat dam water. Another VWS water treatment plant provides water to the people in the Shoaibah region.
Also, VWS entered into a contract with the Ministry of Water for a reverse osmosis plant, to supply drinking water to the people at Al-Ghat. VWS has just recently signed a contract for a water treatment plant at Quwaieiah, where nano membranes are used along with the conventional reverse osmosis.
Ghawji said the company is in the final stage of completing nine reverse osmosis (RO) plants for the Ministry of Water in villages along the northern border of Saudi Arabia. “We are also building an RO plant in Dhahran for Aramco, while we secured an order from SK Engineering Korea to build a large water treatment plant at Wasit gas plant,” he said. This is in addition to a pilot seawater RO Plant for research for DOW-KAUST.
The company has completed a large sewage treatment plant for King Saud University in Riyadh. The plant will treat sewage to produce a clean and quality product that can be used for cooling towers and irrigation. The system has been awarded a Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) quality award for the best reuse project in Saudi Arabia for 2012, Ghawji said.
“We have also completed installation and commissioning of a large RO plant in North Buraidah, which will supply drinking water to Buraidah city,” said the VWS chief.
The company has also installed and commissioned many other water treatment plants. He said that the company also focuses on the reuse of wastewater. “We believe that reuse is not promoted enough in Saudi Arabia, while it can be a valuable option to address water shortage.”
To this end, the company has built a pilot plant for Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) to recycle processed water. “The SABIC project is a big success,” said Ghawji, while referring to similar VWS projects for King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) in Riyadh. All these projects are carried out according to high standards and with the help of innovative technology.
Ghawji said that the company would train local manpower, transfer technology to Saudi entities and involve itself in different initiatives within the framework of the corporate social responsibility. The company, he said, offers the complete range of services required to design, build, maintain, and upgrade water and wastewater treatment facilities and systems.
“Our range of solutions and technologies is dedicated to increasing the value of water and wastewater resources,” said the VWS chief. “Combined with local presence and a worldwide network of experts, we ensure our clients the best solutions to supply high quality water, treat or reuse wastewater, produce or recover energy, extract raw materials, and capitalize on byproduct.”
The company’s innovative water and carbon footprint initiatives allow clients to measure and reduce their impact on eco-systems and resources, ensuring compliance and saving money. “The company can boast having over 250 propriety technologies, numerous prestigious references locally and worldwide besides a number of customer-focused innovations,” he said.
These new Veolia technologies would go a long way in solving the problems related to water and wastewater in Saudi Arabia, which is one of the most arid countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. “This country has a population of about 27 million and it continues to grow at a faster rate with urban centers accounting for approximately 82 percent of the total population,” he noted.
“To meet the water demands of this increasing population and improve water connectivity, the Saudi government is looking at other viable options such as desalination and infrastructure development,” said Ghawji. He said that the company would take several initiatives to extend necessary help to public and private sector organizations to develop sustainable solutions in this area.
The VWS chief said that the company had already set up its own blending facility in Riyadh to produce water treatment chemicals under the trade name Hydrex. He said that the Hydrex range of products covers chemicals used for cooling, boilers, potable processes, reverse osmosis, wastewater and processing water. The blending facility was established in 1983 and is producing quality products with ISO 9001, 18001, 14001 certifications.
“The product used for drinking water has drinking water approval from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the United States,” said Ghawji. He said that the parent company of VWS, called Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies, is the technical subsidiary of Veolia Water. This is the world leader in water, wastewater, sludge and odor treatment. Veolia provides extensive technology capabilities and expertize, backed up by a Research & Development team.