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10 Alliances Seek Offshore Mining Opportunities in Saudi Arabia

10 Alliances Seek Offshore Mining Opportunities in Saudi Arabia

Tuesday, 31 May, 2022 - 08:00
Attendees as the launch of the Innovation Driven Desalination Conference in Jeddah on Monday. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Ten alliances are interested in mining the seas to extract sodium fluoride, minerals, and salts of the reverse water, announced the Governor of the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), Abdullah al-Abdul-Karim.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the sidelines of the Innovation Driven Desalination conference in Jeddah, al-Abdul-Karim said that the SWCC is in talks with these alliances that intend to enter the market in July.

He explained that the Corporation presents many opportunities, including locally producing reverse osmosis membranes with advanced specifications that reduce energy consumption and increase efficiency.

Al-Abdul-Karim stressed that authorities are exerting efforts to ensure water desalination is crucial in increasing the local economic output and local content and reducing the cost of desalinated water production inside and outside the Kingdom.

The Governor added that the Corporation is cooperating with the US Energy Agency in extracting lithium from reverse seawater. Lithium is a crucial element in energy storage, and the world is moving towards energy storage and batteries.

All the industries offered by the Corporation need "innovative minds and bold investors" and tenders are available now, said al-Abdul-Karim, adding: "We are dealing with more than ten local and global alliances to work and implement these initiatives."

Saudi Arabia "is on the verge of many developmental and giant projects that the next stage requires, led by the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman."

The Governor stated that the Kingdom must maintain its leading position, indicating that Saudi Arabia is a pioneer in desalination.

"Today, Saudi Arabia is a pioneer in mining reverse water from the seas and maximizing the benefits in the industrial and health fields," he explained.

He added that the Corporation is aiming for the innovations to positively impact the environment, increase efficiency, and reduce costs.

"We will gradually increase the reduction of carbon emissions until we reach 34 million tons per year by 2024."

Upon completion, the systems will reduce state budgets and about SR8.8 billion worth of fuel used to produce water.

SWCC organized the Innovation Driven Desalination conference to explore the latest innovations and technologies in the water desalination industry with the participation of the International Desalination Association (IDA) and specialized companies.

Minister of Environment, Water, and Agriculture Engineer Abdul Rahman al-Fadhli discussed Monday many issues in the water sector and the mechanism for benefiting from innovations.

The conference is a global platform that brings together more than 120 experts, scientists, investors, and about 30 leading organizations in water desalination.

It also provides a significant opportunity to discuss the latest achievements and innovations in the desalination industry, which will help design a roadmap for a more sustainable future for the global water sectors.

Secretary-General of the International Desalination Association (IDA) Shannon McCarthy and Director of Desalination Technologies Research Institute (DTRI) Ahmed al-Amoudi discussed during the opening session the importance of innovation and its role in developing the desalination industry and its technologies.

Secretary-General of the European Desalination Society (EDS) Miriam Balaban gave a presentation on the "Milestones of Innovation in Desalination," followed by a presentation by Bernard Koh, the Assistant CEO of the Singapore Public Utilities Board (PUB), on "Singapore's Journey in Desalination."

ACWA Power Executive Vice President Thomas Altmann and Dr. Seung-Hyun Kim presented several ideas and initiatives during the "Breaking Cost and Energy Barriers of Desalination."

Deputy Research Director at the National Center for Artificial Intelligence (NCAI) at the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) Abdulrahman Habib gave a presentation on "Innovation: Realizing the Future, Today."

The participants underscored the importance of shaping the future of the desalination industry to meet the needs of the global municipal and industrial sectors by enabling innovation and advanced sciences.

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