Oman Power and Water Procurement (OPWP), the company in charge of water and energy supply in the Sultanate of Oman, has chosen the Barka Desalination Company, a consortium made up of SUEZ and its partners to finance, build and operate a new seawater desalination plant in Barka. This public-private BOO (Build Own Operate) partnership provides for the construction and the operation for 20 years of the facility, which, with a capacity of 281,000 m3 per day, is the largest reverse osmosis desalination plant in the Sultanate of Oman. The plant will start supplying drinking water by 1 April 2018. SUEZ is in charge of the construction and operation of the plant. The construction phase represents a total amount of 276 million euro.
Like many other Gulf States, the Sultanate of Oman has been suffering from a shortage of drinking water for several years, while demand is on the rise due to population growth and urbanisation. To take up the challenge of this scarcity of water resources, the authorities are turning to alternative solutions, including desalination.
Several plants are already under construction in the coastal towns of Sohar, Al-Ghubrah, and Qurayyat, and three more projects are due for launch in early 2016.
SUEZ will provide the desalination plant in Barka with high-performance degremont® technology and treatment processes, such as SeadafTM and AquazurTM, for pre-treating the turbid and algae-rich waters of the Gulf of Oman and thereby ensure the production of high-quality drinking water. This is the second desalination plant built by SUEZ in the Sultanate of Oman, following the Barka II station (120 000 m3 per day) that was inaugurated in 2009, as part of the IWPP (Independent Water and Power Plant) project awarded to ENGIE in 2007.
This contract consolidates SUEZ’s position as a leading player in water treatment and desalination in the Middle East. The Group, which is currently building the wastewater treatment station of Al-Amerat (18,000 m3/day) in the Sultanate of Oman, has already built several plants, including As Samra (365,000 m3 /day) in Jordan, and the extension of the Doha West plant (280,000 m3 /day) in Qatar. As the leader in reverse osmosis desalination, SUEZ is producing more than 900,000 m3 of desalinated water per day in the Middle East, especially through its Al Durplants (with ENGIE in Bahrain), Fujaïrah in the United Arab Emirates, as well as the one in Mirfa, a contract won by SUEZ in 2014 to design and operate the plant as part of an IWPP project. The Group is also committed to developing innovative desalination technologies that reduce energy consumption and secure access to water, as illustrated by the energy-efficient desalination pilot unit inaugurated in Masdar (Abu Dhabi) in 2015.