In the GCC, demand for water is set to rise by about 62 percent by 2025, according to new research by MEED.
MEED forecasts that demand for water in the GCC will grow by 62 percent by 2025, which will require the 4,563 million imperial gallons per day (MIGD) of installed desalination capacity in 2017 to rise by more than 65 per cent
Demand growth on this scale necessitates significant capital investment in new capacity. Such investment is happening in the region. With more than $80bn-worth of desalination projects under construction or planned in the GCC, governments are turning to the private sector to help finance these crucial projects.
The move towards implementing projects through public-private partnership (PPP) models has been hastened by the volatility of oil prices and is happening alongside the launch of wide-reaching economic reform and development programs.
The increasing trend of decoupling water production from electricity generation is an important step, as it allows for greater flexibility in supply and reduces capital costs.
But the greatest opportunity to ensure adequate sustainable water supply is to change the way that water is consumed in the region.
New technologies are opening up opportunities to live more sustainably.
On Qatar’s wastewater supply, MEED noted the country has a treatment capacity of about 795,900 cm/d. The Public Works Authority (Ashghal) owns most of this, with the remainder coming under the responsibility of private real estate developers.
The total excludes wastewater treatment plants serving industrial sites and large- scale infrastructure developments such as the 12,000 cm/d Pearl gas-to-liquids (GTL) unit and the 30,000 cm/d plant at Hamad International airport. It also excludes various packaged treatment plants around the country.
In Qatar, until mid-2012, the sewerage infrastructure was under intense pressure, with total capacity designed to meet the needs of a population of 1.3 million, well below the actual population of 2 million.
Several expansion projects were executed to increase the capacity of existing plants, but real relief only came with the opening of the $2.2bn Doha North STP, which increased Qatar’s installed treatment capacity by about 60 percent.
The Doha North project centered on the construction by Singapore’s Keppel Seghers of a 243,000 cm/d STP capable of serving 900,000 people.
Located to the northwest of the capital, the plant uses a range of treatment technologies including extended aeration and ultra-filtration. The project comprised three other main elements. A 40- meter-deep main pump station built in Al Kheisa by a joint venture of France’s Vinci Construction, the local Qatari Diar and Entrepose Contracting, also of France, while Japan’s Marubeni Corporation was in charge of building the pumping station for the treated sewage effluent (TSE) network.
A fourth and final contract, covering the networks, was awarded to South Korea’s Ultra Construction of Engineering. It involved construction of 30km of force main sewers and 20km of interceptor pipes for existing and planned urban areas around Garaffa Bay, West Bay and Semaisma, north of Doha, as well as TSE distribution network.