Engie and HIWPT launch desalination training program exclusively for Saudi women

The two-year program will provide theoretical, technical, and vocational training in water desalination, power generation, maintenance, and operations

Low-carbon energy company Engie has inked an agreement with the Higher Institute for Water and Power Technologies (HIWPT) to launch a training program in the field of reverse osmosis desalination, exclusively for Saudi women.

Turki Alshehri, Engie’s CEO in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Tariq Al Shamrani, Executive Managing Director at HIWPT signed the agreement in a ceremony organised in Riyadh, in the presence of SWPC CEO, Khalid Al Qureshi, and Ghanem Alghanem from the Human Resources Development Fund.

The agreement is said to outline the details of the two-year program for 15 Saudi females. Based on the agreement, participants receive theoretical and practical hands-on training in water desalination, power generation, maintenance, and operations. On completing the program, the 15 participants will be hired as full-time ‘Plant Operations Technicians’ at Yanbu 4 or Jubail 3B – Engie’s Saudi-based reverse osmosis desalination plants, Engie said.

In January 2022, EAD and Engie announced the success of Phase II of their mangrove rehabilitation project.

“As part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 to build a bright, vibrant, and thriving economy, it is essential that our nation’s youth are provided with the right education, training, and opportunities to unlock their talent,” said Al Qureshi.

Thamer Al Sharhan added, “Female empowerment is instrumental to realising our nation’s ambitions, and we are delighted to launch together with Engie a unique program targeted at fresh Saudi women graduates, which will equip them with the skills required for a career in the desalination industry.”

As part of the program, participants will have to complete an introductory one-year foundational technical core training spanning three trimesters at HIWPT in Rabigh. Through this phase, students will learn about scientific concepts and engineering principles. In the second phase, the trainees will benefit from vocational training at Engie’s Yanbu 4 and Jubail 3B reverse osmosis desalination plants, where the 15 participants will be hired.

In May 2022, an Engie-led consortium broke ground on a sustainable desalination plant in Saudi Arabia.

Al Shehri remarked, “We are delighted to be launching the first program which targets females exclusively in the Kingdom with the Higher Institute of Water and Power Technologies. The program further reinforces our commitment to achieving gender equality, supporting women in STEM careers, and ensuring knowledge transfer to the local population.”

The program is said to be part of Engie’s broader commitment to achieving greater gender diversity across its organisation and industrial and technological companies.

In 2019, Engie became a signatory to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles, designed to promote gender equality in the work environment, while, in 2020, the group announced it intended to employ women in 50% of all its managerial positions by 2030.

In early November 2022, Metito won a contract to build the second phase of the Fujairah Port desalination plant.

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