ENOWA, the energy, water, and hydrogen subsidiary of Saudi futuristic city NEOM, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Japanese trading company, ITOCHU, and Veolia, a French global leader in optimized resource management.
As part of the MoU, the companies will collaborate to develop a first-of-its-kind selective desalination plant powered by 100 percent renewable energy in OXAGON, NEOM’s advanced manufacturing and innovation city.
The new facility, which is expected to start producing early-water in 2024, will be a key in realizing ENOWA’s goals of building a sustainable, abundant water supply for residential, industrial, and commercial use. The new state-of-the-art plant will use advanced membrane technology to produce separate brine streams, in line with NEOM’s aim of developing a circular economy.
This enables ENOWA to produce brine-derived products, which will be developed and monetized downstream. Brine, which is usually considered a waste output of desalination, will be used to produce significant quantities of valuable industrial materials that can be used locally or exported internationally.
Brine generated from the desalination plant will be treated by ENOWA to feed industries utilizing High Purity Industrial Salt, Bromine, Boron, Potassium, Gypsum, Magnesium and Rare Metal feedstocks.
“Partnering with global leaders in sustainable water solutions is key to NEOM’s ambition to become a global benchmark for integrated sustainable water systems. At ENOWA, our vision is to create a sustainable abundance of life’s most essential elements, all in harmony with nature. We will be producing, treating, and reusing water in one of the most water-stressed regions in the world, through sustainable, innovative and integrated solutions. This new desalination plant is one example of the type of sustainable infrastructure and circular economy we are developing to meet our zero-carbon footprint and zero-waste goals.”
Mr. Kenji Otsuka, CEO of the Middle East Bloc of ITOCHU, said that “ITOCHU is honored and proud to collaborate with ENOWA and Veolia to develop this landmark desalination plant in NEOM which advances the concept of Zero Liquid Discharge. With our global experience, ITOCHU will enhance our contribution to sustainable living in line with the Kingdom’s and NEOM’s goal of creating a decarbonized, recycling-oriented and innovative society.”
Mr. Pascal Grante, CEO of Near and Middle-East, Veolia, stated that “Veolia is delighted to partner with ENOWA and ITOCHU to support the development of NEOM. The project is aligned with the circular economy model that Veolia aims to deploy in all its projects worldwide.”