SBG will build the plant under a 30-month engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract, with detailed engineering and commissioning to be undertaken by Spain’s Cadagua. The reverse osmosis plant will use Japan’s Toyobomembranes. The plant will have capacity to produce 13.3 million gallons a day of desalinated water.

Saudi Arabia has a large projected shortfall in desalination capacity. The Saline Water Conversion Corporation estimates it will require expenditure of $2,700 million each year until 2020 to address the shortages. The government is now setting up a new dedicated Water Ministry to centralise decision making in the sector and address the problem of shortages (see Cover Story).