SWCC plans 3 solar-powered desal plants

Updated 04 October 2012

SWCC plans 3 solar-powered desal plants

The Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) will establish three new solar-powered desalination plants, said Abdul Rahman Al-Ibrahim, governor of the corporation. “We are reducing dependence on oil and using alternative energy sources to run our plants,” he added.
Two solar-powered desalination plants are currently operating in Al-Khafji and Jubail, and we are planning to establish three more such plants in Haqel, Dhuba and Farasan.
“These solar-powered desalination plants are established to support oil- and gas-powered stations, and we have plans to establish similar plants inside the existing desalination complexes,” he said.
Al-Ibrahim reported big progress on the desalination plant being constructed in Ras Al-Khair on the Arabian Gulf coast, adding it would be ready within two years.
“Electricity production at the Ras Al-Khair plant will start in April 2013, while desalination water production in 2014,” the governor said. About 55 percent of work on the project has been completed, he pointed out.
He said the application of new technology would enable the corporation to save a lot of energy. “For example, Yanbu-3 plant can save 5 million barrels of oil annually,” he added.
Al-Ibrahim described the Shuaiba complex with four plants as the largest in the world, supplying 1.6 million cubic meters of water daily.
SWCC is the world’s largest producer of desalinated water, accounting for 18 percent of total global output and 41 percent of the total production of GCC states.
The corporation also supplies 5,000 megawatts of electricity, or 9 percent of the Kingdom’s total power production.
Al-Ibrahim highlighted SWCC’s preparedness for the upcoming Haj season. “We’ll work around the clock to ensure adequate supply of water to Makkah and other holy sites,” he said, adding that Jeddah and Taif would not face any water shortage during this Haj season.
Speaking about new plants, he said Shuaiba-4 would supply an additional 240,000 cubic meters of water to Jeddah, while the Ras Al-Khair plant would pump a million cubic meters of water to Riyadh. Yanbu-3 will supply 550,000 cubic meters.
Al-Ibrahim emphasized the government’s plan to privatize the corporation to improve its efficiency and increase production. “The privatization plan is with the Supreme Economic Council. No time schedule has been given for the process.”
The governor said total investment in SWCC plants reached more than SR 60 billion. “We have established strategic water storage that can meet water needs of the country for two weeks, even if all plants stop working,” he said.


Attacks on oil facilities in Kingdom threaten world economy: Saudi energy minister

Updated 15 September 2019

Attacks on oil facilities in Kingdom threaten world economy: Saudi energy minister

  • Saudi Aramco says no staff have been injured in attacks
  • The oil giant is working on restoring the lost quantities

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said drones that attacked Saudi Aramco installations had caused an interruption of an estimated 5.7 million barrels in crude supplies and threaten the world economy.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said as a result of the terrorist acts, oil production in Abqaiq and Khurais was knocked out temporarily and that estimates show that 50 percent of the company’s production had been interrupted.

Part of the decrease will be compensated to clients through reserves, Prince Abdulaziz said in a statement carried on the Saudi Press Agency.

The newly appointed minister confirmed there were no injuries to staff at the locations targeted, adding that the company is still assessing the resulting damage.

The attacks not only target the Kingdom’s vital installations, but also target the international oil supply and threaten its security, he said, and are a threat to the world economy. 

The blasts took place at 3:31am and 3:42am at the two locations, both in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, causing fires that were brought under control by emergency services.

The drone attacks, at the world’s largest oil processing plant at Abqaiq and at an oilfield in Khurais, highlight the importance of the international community to protect energy supply against “all terrorist sides that carry out, support and finance such cowardly disruptive acts,” the statement said.

He said that these blasts also knocked out the production of 2bn cubic feet of associated gas daily, used to produce 700,000 barrels of natural gas liquids, which will lead to an approximate 50 percent decrease of Ethane and natural gas liquids supply.

The statement said the company is currently working on restoring the lost quantities, and will present updated information within the next 48 hours.

World leaders condemned the attacks on Saudi Arabia on Saturday and those behind the terrorist acts. 

Donald Trump called Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to reassert his country's “readiness to cooperate with the Kingdom, by all means conducive to maintain its security and stability.”

The Crown Prince "underscored the Kingdom’s willingness and strength to thwart such a terrorist aggression and deal with its consequences,” SPA reported on Saturday.

The UAE said it “condemns this act of terrorism and sabotage and considers it as a new evidence of the terrorist groups’ attempts to undermine the security and stability of the region as a whole.”

“The Houthis must stop undermining Saudi Arabia’s security by threatening civilian areas and commercial infrastructure,” said the British government.

“The US strongly condemns today’s drone attacks. These attacks against critical infrastructure endanger civilians, are unacceptable, and sooner or later will result in innocent lives being lost,” said the US envoy in Riyadh John Abizaid.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was emphatic about the need to condemn Iranian aggression, specifically on Saudi Arabia, and the need to ensure the security of world energy supplies.

“Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while Rouhani and Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy. Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply. There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen,” he tweeted, “We call on all nations to publicly and unequivocally condemn Iran’s attacks. The United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression”

The Houthis, who are backed by Iran, said they had carried out the attacks and that 10 drones had been used.