RIYADH: The Saudi water sector is moving towards increasing its hydrogen production as companies try to find creative ways to tackle climate change.
“We are the main producers of water, which is the main source of hydrogen,” said Carlos Cosin, president of the International Desalination Association and CEO of Almar Water Solutions.
Cosin made these remarks during an interview with Arab News at a conference for the desalination sector in Jeddah last month. The event was jointly organized by the Saudi Saline Water Conversion Corporation and the IDA.
“I think the contribution of the International Desalination Association is to provide visibility on what the Kingdom is doing and replicate it in other countries,” he said. “We are also bringing ideas from business models implemented in other countries and replicating them here, such as the PPP model,” he added, noting Saudi Aramco was also interested in using this model.
The Kingdom has a vital role in the future of desalination as it builds on its legacy of leadership in the sector. “Saudi Arabia took a leadership role in implementing desalination technology in the early seventies. It has been a living laboratory for desalination the entire world looked towards,” said Shannon McCarthy, secretary-general of IDA.
Cosin said Almar Water Solutions has two main projects in the Kingdom: the King Abdullah Economic City and Kindasa, one of the country’s oldest water companies.
The production capacity of the King Abdullah Economic City is 450,000 cubic meters per day, while Kindasa is 80,000 cubic meters per day, he said.
As to how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the operations of Almar Water Solutions, Cosin said they were still able to meet their production commitment.
“In the intermediate term, we are exploring the possibility of utilizing water electrolysis to produce hydrogen. This is a new step that the water sector can lead with,” added Cosin.
Regarding their plans for the future, the company is exploring investment opportunities with the National Water Co., Cosin added.
Owned by the Public Investment Fund, NWC provides water and wastewater treatment services for the Kingdom through private sector participation.