Riyadh has appointed a new governor for Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), with immediate effect.

According to sources close to SWCC, Ali al-Hazmi, who has been in several roles with state oil company Saudi Aramco and associated companies for more than 20 years, has been appointed as the new head of the firm.

In his most recent position, Al-Hazmi had been the president for Saudi Aramco Shell Refinery Company (Sasref), the Aramco/Shell joint venture that runs the Sasref refinery in Jubail Industrial City.

Al-Hazmi replaces Abdulrahman al-Ibrahim, who had been governor of SWCC since 2011. Al-Ibrahim retains his position as CEO of the kingdom’s water distribution and wastewater company, National Water Company (NWC). Al-Ibrahim assumed the position of CEO of NWC earlier in 2016.

The new governor will oversee an unprecedented reform programme for SWCC, the world’s largest desalination provider.

In a recent interview with MEED, the previous governor revealed that SWCC is working on plans to unbundle and privatise the company. A roadmap for privatising the company is due to be ready in 2017.

SWCC also faces a race to meet the rapidly growing demand for water in the kingdom, with estimates showing the kingdom will need to increase its installed desalination capacity by 2.2 million cubic metres a day (cm/d) by 2020.