The Dow Chemical Company is celebrating the inaugural shipment of its DOW FILMTEC™ Reverse Osmosis elements from its new Saudi Arabia Dow Water & Process Solutions’ (DW&PS) Jubail Operations manufacturing facility. This first shipment is targeted to serve emerging markets.
A first of its kind built outside the United States, the new reverse osmosis (RO) production facility came on-stream in December 2015 to better serve the local Saudi Arabian market and help meet aggressively growing demands for RO in Middle East and Africa regions, as well as Eastern Europe, India, China and Southeast Asia.
“Through rapid urban economic growth, annual domestic water demand in the Middle East and North Africa countries is estimated to more than triple over the next 20-30 years,” said Yochai Gafni, business unit director for RO at DW&PS, a business unit of Dow. “To combat regional water scarcity challenges and address this growing resource demand, Jubail Operations will help deliver a robust local supply of cutting-edge technologies for municipal and industrial water applications.”
Dow’s wholly owned Jubail Operations is located in Jubail Industrial City II within the fully integrated Sadara Chemical Company complex, the joint venture developed by Dow and Saudi Aramco. The plant manufactures FILMTEC™ RO elements for seawater and brackish water desalination and for water reuse of potable, non-potable and industrial water.
“The Jubail Operations replicates and builds on the state-of-the-art production technology employed in Edina, Minn., USA, and adds a high technology investment to the Kingdom” said Chuck Swartz, president for Dow in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. “It is also creating jobs for Saudi talents.”
It is anticipated that RO elements manufactured at DW&PS Jubail Operations have the capability to reduce the oil requirement to distill water in the region by approximately 10MM barrels per year – equivalent to reducing the greenhouse gas emissions from 900,000 passenger vehicles driven per year.
Dow’s investment in the DW&PS Jubail Operations complements its continued activities at the Dow Middle East Research and Development Center at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), where research on RO solutions in combination with ultrafiltration pretreatment for seawater desalination is taking place.