Saudi Neom megacity will have world’s first ‘solar dome’ desalination plant

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Updated 30 January 2020

Saudi Neom megacity will have world’s first ‘solar dome’ desalination plant

  • Facility will be completely sustainable, carbon neutral and greatly reduce environmental impact of water extraction
  • Construction is due to begin in the next month and is expected to be complete by end of 2020

TABUK: The Neom smart-city project will use cutting-edge solar technology to power a desalination plant that produces clean, low-cost, environmentally friendly fresh water.

The decision aims to enhance megacity’s position as a new global tourism destination, a center of innovation and environmental conservation, and as an accelerator of human progress.

Neom signed an agreement with UK business Solar Water Limited to build a desalination plant in the northwest of the Kingdom that uses the newly developed “solar dome” technology. It is hoped the first-of-its-kind, completely sustainable and carbon-neutral facility will shape the future of desalination in Neom, the Kingdom and throughout the world.

Work on the solar dome project will begin in February and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The technology it employs will significantly reduce the environmental impact of the desalination process by producing less saline solution, a byproduct that can harm natural ecosystems.

The pioneering and innovative approach from Solar Water Limited, which was developed at Cranfield University in the UK, represents the first widespread use of concentrated solar power technology in desalination, Neom said. Seawater is pumped into a hydrological solar dome made of glass and steel, where it is heated and evaporated to remove the salt. The process can continue at night thanks to the storage of solar energy generated throughout the day. The technology helps to prevent any damage to marine life as it does not dump saline solution created by the process back into the sea.

“Neom’s adoption of the experimental version of this program supports the sustainability goals set by the Ministry in the Kingdom, as shown in the National Water Strategy 2030, and is fully in line with the sustainable-development goals set by the United Nations,” said Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli.

Neom CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr said that the megacity project has easy access to abundant amounts of seawater and completely renewable energy resources, which puts it in the ideal position to produce low-cost and sustainable fresh water using solar-powered desalination.

He added that the adoption of this type of technology reflects Neom’s commitment to supporting innovation, protecting the environment and preserving its purity to provide a comfortable and exceptional life. It also raises the possibility of using the technology in other parts of Saudi Arabia in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture.

David Reavley, the CEO of Solar Water Ltd, said: “Currently, thousands of desalination plants around the world rely heavily on burning fossil fuels for water extraction, and we have the technology to desalinate water in a way that is completely sustainable and 100 percent carbon neutral.

“We are happy to partner with Neom, which has a strong vision of what the new future looks like in harmony and integration with nature.”
 


Saudi Arabia appoints second female ambassador

Updated 21 October 2020

Saudi Arabia appoints second female ambassador

  • Amal Yahya Al-Moallimi is the ambassador to Norway
  • Her appointment makes her the second female Saudi ambassador

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has appointed Amal Yahya Al-Moallimi as the ambassador to Norway – making her the Kingdom’s second female ambassador, state news agency SPA reported.

Princess Reema Bint Bandar was Saudi Arabia’s first woman to hold such a position when she was appointed as the Kingdom’s ambassador to the United States.

Al-Moallimi took the oath of office in an online ceremony on Tuesday, along with several others before King Salman and in the presence of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

She started her career over 20 years ago in the fields of education, training and social development.

Al-Moallimi worked as a teacher for five years and as a mentor for eight. She also worked for one year in the Educational Training Department at the Ministry of Education.

The ambassador served as general manager of international cooperation and organizations at the Saudi Human Rights Commission (SHRC) since 2019.

Earlier in 2019, she told Arab News: “The Kingdom’s journey toward empowering women has taken wider and quicker strides and continues to open up new doors every day.”

She was one of six women appointed to the SHRC, representing 25 percent of its membership. They are the first women to participate on the commission.