As Saudi Arabia faces an increasing demand for water to support its rapid population and economic growth, GE (NYSE: GE) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Miahona, a subsidiary of the Arabian Company for Water and Power Development Ltd. (ACWA Holding), to support the Kingdom’s goal for sustaining a reliable water supply and meet wastewater management requirements.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has one of the fastest growing economies in the Middle East, and the wastewater and water reuse issues need to be addressed now in order to sustain this rapid growth over the next five years,” said Professor Walid A. Abderrahman, managing director of Miahona. “We are pleased to be working with GE, a global energy leader in water technologies in the areas of chemicals, equipment and advanced membranes, to deliver innovative and advanced water solutions for the Kingdom, as part of our commitment to continue investing in projects focused on increasing the supply of usable water for the country.”
Combining GE’s global water technology experience and expertise with Miahona’s established local presence and knowledge of regional water needs, the MOU provides a framework for promoting the use of advanced membrane technology such as membrane bioreactors in water reuse and the pursuit of wastewater treatment, wastewater reuse and zero liquid discharge projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Miahona and GE also will mutually cooperate on projects related to well injection, utilizing GE’s advanced increased oil recovery and enhanced oil recovery solutions. A key expectation is for GE to deliver advanced technology and treatment solutions to meet the Kingdom’s environmentally conscious municipal and industrial wastewater discharge regulations. The MOU also builds on GE’s water technology presence in Saudi Arabia and follows the opening last year of the 7,500 square meter GE Water & Process Technology Center in Dammam, which represents a $10 million investment.
“This MOU with Miahona reflects GE’s active response to the Kingdom’s call for more private sector initiatives to establish and manage water reuse projects and plants,” said Joseph Anis, GE Energy’s president for the Middle East. “These initiatives and commitments, combined with education about the critical issues facing the energy industry today, can go a long way toward achieving a sustainable water future for the Kingdom and the region.”
The Middle East and North Africa region has 5 percent of the world’s population and less than 1 percent of the world’s available water supply1. Several Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, are evaluating stringent reuse goals. The water reuse market in Saudi Arabia is expected to be worth $3.4 billion between 2009 and 2016, making it the third largest water reuse market in the world.2 Saudi Arabia’s advanced treated water reuse capacity is growing annually at a rate exceeding 30 percent and is expected to reach 2.2 million cubic meters per day by 2016 from its current level of 260,000 cubic meters per day.3
With a presence that spans over 70 years in Saudi, GE has expanded its energy presence in the Kingdom through public-private partnerships and a strong footprint of facilities in service repair support and customer training centers in power, water and oil and gas. With more than 800 GE employees, Saudi Arabia has the largest GE workforce in the Middle East.
Notable recent projects featuring GE’s advanced energy solutions include Marafiq, the world’s largest independent water and power project with the capacity to produce more than 2.7 gigawatts of power and 800,000 cubic meters per day of desalinated water, thereby integrating water and power production at a single site. Other noteworthy GE water projects include providing a fleet of mobile water systems (for seawater and brackish water treatment) to the Al Tamimi group in the “GET Water” Partnership. Currently more than 60 mobile units are in operation, with each unit capable of treating up to 1,500 cubic meters of water daily. GE has also supplied a 300-bed facility to the International Media Center in Jeddah to treat and recycle 250 cubic meter/day of water. The treated effluent is then used for various functions such as landscaping. Both projects are helping to conserve freshwater supplies in the country.
Miahona (a fully-owned subsidiary of Arabian Company for Water and Power Development Ltd.) is engaged in various business activities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including contract management and concession management in the fields of water supply, groundwater development and treatment as well as waste water treatment.
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GE serves the energy sector by developing and deploying technology that helps make efficient use of natural resources. With nearly 85,000 global employees and 2009 revenues of $37 billion, GE Energy ge.com/energy is one of the world’s leading suppliers of power generation and energy delivery technologies. The businesses that comprise GE Energy—GE Power & Water, GE Energy Services and GE Oil & Gas—work together to provide integrated product and service solutions in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy; renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and biogas; and other alternative fuels.
1 “Towards Sustainable Wastewater Reuse in the Middle East and North Africa,” Institute of Environmental and Water Studies, Birzeit University, Palestine
2 Middle East North Africa Financial Network
3 GWI 2010
Howard Masto, Masto Public Relations
P: +1 518 786 6488 / E: howard.masto[.]ge.com.
Ken Darling, Masto Public Relations
P: +1 518 786 6488 / E: kenneth.darling[.]ge.com.
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