Kuwait’s Ministry of Electricity & Water (MEW) has announced plans to build an estimated $56m water desalination supply unit in the Wafra oil field.

The proposed project will reuse low-salinity water from the Umm Kudair region to provide water for the Al-Zour desalination plant. The scheme will boost water supplies in the new Sabah al-Ahmed and Al-Khiran residential developments. The project will involve building five wells, installing pumping stations and constructing a pipeline network to provide desalinated water to reservoirs.

The demand for water continues to rise sharply in line with the country’s rapid population growth. Kuwait’s population is expected to rise from the 3 million recorded in 2010 to 5.5 million by 2025.

In April, the country’s Partnerships Technical Bureau (PTB) has invited companies to express interest in the second phase of its Al-Zour North independent water and power project (IWPP).

The second phase will involve building a combined power and desalination plant with a power generation capacity of 1,500MW and a water desalination capacity of 102 million gallons a day (g/d). The facility will have the same capacities as the first phase. The PTB is developing the project in partnership with the MEW.

In January, the PTB awarded the consortium of the UK/French GDF Suez, Japan’s Sumitomo and Kuwait’s AH Sagar & Brothers Group the contract to build the first phase of the Al-Zour North scheme.