Dubai to Get World's Largest Solar-Powered Desalination Plant

Dubai is set to become a leader in sustainable water production with the upcoming Hassyan desalination plant. The facility, commissioned by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and ACWA Power, will be the second-largest desalination plant using reverse osmosis (RO) technology globally. More importantly, it will be the world's largest desalination plant powered by solar energy.

This project is being undertaken by Veolia, a global leader in water technology, through its subsidiary SIDEM. Veolia will design and supply key technology for the plant. SIDEM's expertise in large-scale desalination, particularly in pre-treatment and post-treatment stages, will be crucial in achieving the plant's exceptional energy efficiency. The desalination process will have an incredibly low energy consumption rate of 2. 9 kilowatt-hours per cubic meter (kWh/m3). This represents a 35% reduction in energy consumption compared to RO desalination plants just ten years ago.

The Hassyan plant will be located approximately 55 kilometers southwest of Dubai Creek and will boast a production capacity of 818, 000 cubic meters per day (180 million imperial gallons per day). This will provide a safe and reliable source of drinking water for two million people in Dubai. The plant is expected to begin operations in 2026, with a gradual increase in production to reach full capacity by 2027.

Sustainability is a key focus of the project. The plant's location near the Jebel Ali Wetland Sanctuary, a protected ecological site, has been carefully considered. Construction activities are planned around the nesting season of endangered turtles to ensure minimal disruption. Additionally, the plant will adhere to strict environmental regulations regarding the composition, temperature, and quantity of brine discharge. Discharge areas will also be chosen to minimize any potential impact on the surrounding ecosystem.

"This project aligns perfectly with our GreenUp strategic plan, which emphasizes adaptation and providing solutions for ecological transformation, " said Estelle Brachlianoff, Chief Executive Officer of Veolia. "Our commitment to high operational and environmental standards has been the driving force behind our leadership in desalination for over 50 years. Thanks to our efforts, we have achieved the seemingly impossible – reducing the energy consumption of large-scale desalination to 2. 9 kWh/m3. "

This project is part of Dubai's broader strategy to increase water desalination capacity in a sustainable manner. With a growing population and increasing demand for water, this new plant will play a vital role in securing Dubai's water future.

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