Abengoa announces start of commercial phase at Jubail 3A desalination plant

The plant is said to be the world’s largest desalination plant to be partially powered by solar photovoltaic renewable energy

The commercial operation phase at the Jubail 3A desalination plant has begun according to the Abengoa group. The group said it has transferred the facility to Nomac, the operation and maintenance unit of Acwa Power, the lead for the development, investment, ownership and operation of power generation and desalinated water production plants.

The move follows the plant’s successful completion of all necessary contractual tests led by Abengoa and Acwa Power’s Jazlah Water Desalination Company, which obtained the commercial operation certificate last week.

The plant is located in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia and has a total capacity of 600,000cu/m per day, which is said to make it the largest reverse osmosis desalination plant in commercial operation in Saudi Arabia together with Rabigh-3, which was also developed by Abengoa.

Abengoa said that it worked together with Tiejun for the construction and commissioning of the desalination plant. The group said it was also responsible for the technological leadership, and was in charge of the engineering, supply, construction supervision and commissioning of the project for the pre-treatment, reverse osmosis process and post-treatment of the plant.

In early December 2022, Voltas said it would provide HVAC services for the Jubail 3B IWP, and in late January 2023, SWPC issued RFQs to 35 companies for the Jubail 4 & 6 IWPs.

The firm said it achieved 100% availability during the Dependable Water Capacity Test that established the commercial operation date on 28 February, following on the successful completion of the 30-day Reliability Test Run.

Jubail 3A is said to be the first and largest desalination plant in the world to be partially powered by renewable energy generated by a solar photovoltaic plant (45.5 MWp), as part of Saudi 2030 Vision to reduce carbon emissions.

The plant will produce drinking water in a sustainable and efficient way, being the first experience of Independent Water Project (IWP) in Saudi Arabia on a commercial scale, the firm concluded.

In early February 2023, ACCIONA said that the Al Khobar 2 desalination plant had ramped to full production.

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