The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s investment in the water desalination market has increased “substantially”, accounting for 48% of global desalination projects, with further investments expected to spur the market to $4.3bn by 2022, according to the MENA Desalination Market report by Ventures Onsite, which tracks construction projects in the region.
With water scarcity becoming a rising concern, governments are moving away from the reliance on traditional water resources to meet population demands.
As a result, seawater desalination now contributes to more than 90% of all daily water requirements. The GCC countries tout the highest global water desalination capacity of 81%, producing approximately 40% of the total desalinated water in the world, the report states.
In addition, the seawater desalination capacity of GCC countries is expected to grow further by approximately 37% during the next five years, with investments of up to $100bn 2020, state-run news agency, Wam, reported.
According to the report, Saudi Arabia is responsible for about one-fifth of global production and leads the world in the volume of desalinated water it produces. The country is the largest desalination market in the world producing around four million cubic metres of desalinated water per day. Approximately $80bn is expected to be invested in more projects over the next 10 years.
The UAE is also developing key desalination projects, with the Taweelah plant in Abu Dhabi expected to have a capacity of 909,200 cubic metres of water per day. The plant will also be 44% larger than the world’s current largest reverse osmosis plant, and is scheduled to open in Q4 2022.
The Jebel Ali plant complex, which has a capacity of 150,000 cubic metres of water per day, will open in Q2 2020.
In addition, Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA) is also building a desalination project with a daily 60 million Imperial gallons (MIGD) capacity due to be ready by 2022.