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Dow to invest in water desalination and reuse technologies in Saudi Arabia

The Dow Chemical Company plans to invest in a best-in-class manufacturing facility for Dow FILMTEC reverse osmosis (RO) elements in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The proposed facility would deliver local supply security of advanced technologies for water desalination and water re-use for potable, non-potable and industrial water serving Saudi Arabia, the surrounding Middle East and North Africa region and emerging markets worldwide.

Additionally, these water membrane technologies promise cost-savings through reduced energy usage and operational efficiencies for customers in desalination, industrial, municipal, commercial and residential sectors, according to Dow.

FILMTEC membranes from Dow Water & Process Solutions are used in some of the most water-challenged areas of the world, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Algeria. The Shoaiba Barge SeaWater Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) plant is one of Saudi Arabia’s largest RO seawater desalination plants and utilizes FILMTEC membrane elements.

Over the years, improvements in FILMTEC RO membrane elements have provided a threefold increase in the amount of treated water per element while reducing energy costs in desalination and other water purification and re-use projects around the world, Dow says. Desalination plants with Dow technology produce hundreds of millions of gallons of freshwater per day in many sites around the globe.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a key market for Dow Water & Process Solutions. This new proposed world-class facility will increase our ability to deliver the most advanced, affordable and sustainable water sourcing and treatment options for desalination, wastewater treatment, and other applications. Dow is committed to the vital water conservation and purification needs of the region, and to combating water shortages that limit economic development.

—Dr. Ilham Kadri, commercial director for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Dow Water & Process Solutions

This announcement builds on the recent decision by The Dow Chemical Company and Saudi Aramco to form Sadara Chemical Company, a joint venture to build and operate a world-scale, fully integrated chemicals complex in Jubail Industrial City, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (Earlier post.)

In 2009, Dow entered into a comprehensive Research and Development (R&D) collaboration agreement with the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), the region’s leading graduate-level research university.



It's really kind of a shame how these countries in the middle east have no problem building large-scale desal operations, but we can't even provide a large-scale permanent desal solution to our states that have droughts year after year.


Blame the Spinach party for the shame. Anytime a project is about to be launched an environmental impact study is required, commities are formed, moratoriums are put into action, the list goes on and on. The Cape Wind Project is a prime example.

Building a residential car garage requires an environmental impact study by our town and a special town meeting for permits. Before one brick is laid the homeowner is required to spend thousands of dollars and jump through impossible hoops to satisfy all kinds of bureaucrats and self appointed friends of the earth not to mention abutting neighbors.


The Spinach party ?

Also desalination is very expensive and power intensive for crops - as if that mattered.


Dow is one or two steps ahead of the curve on this one. while their technology matures they build plants where money is no object. In another decade cost of electricity for a facility such as desal will be ten percent what it is today.

When that happens Dow will be ready to start building desal for China, India, Africa, Europe, North Am, etc. etc.

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