UAE opens 1 of world’s largest SWRO desalination plant in Umm Al Qaiwain

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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NAQA'A SWRO desalination plant in Umm Al Qaiwain
Rep.Image | Courtesy: WAM

His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister, and Chairman of the Presidential Court, has inaugurated the “NAQA’A” Seawater Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) desalination plant in the Emirate of Umm Al Qaiwain.

This plant stands as one of the largest seawater desalination projects using SWRO technology in the world. With a capacity of 150 million gallons of desalinated water per day, the plant operates according to the independent producer system.

The ceremony was attended by Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Etihad Water and Electricity, along with Yousef Ahmed Al Ali, CEO of the company, and several senior officials.

Sheikh Mansour listened to a detailed explanation from the company’s CEO and the project team about the station’s mechanism and its implementation stages. The first phase, initiated during the second half of 2021, concluded with the station operating experimentally at a daily production capacity of 50 million gallons.

The second phase was completed, and the station began operating with its full production capacity of 150 million gallons per day by the end of 2022. This huge project was a collaboration between Etihad Water and Electricity, Mubadala, and Saudi Arabia’s Utilities developer, ACWA Power.

H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan_NAQA'A Seawater Reverse Osmosis plant
H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, VP, Deputy PM and Chairman – Presidential Affairs.

“We are proud of the completion of ‘NAQA’A’, an embodiment of the UAE’s approach and the vision of its leadership in ensuring sustainable water resources for future generations. The project represents an important step towards bolstering the country’s capacity to address future water sector challenges, aligning with the UAE’s proactive approach towards a sustainable future.”

Sheikh Mansour added that, given the UAE leadership’s keen focus on water security and relentless efforts in addressing water sector challenges, President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan recently announced the “Mohamed bin Zayed Water Initiative” to combat water scarcity.

Sheikh Mansour added that the inauguration of “NAQA’A” reaffirms the UAE’s commitment to translating its water security priorities into actionable initiatives, reflecting the leadership’s dedication to sustainability and the well-being of its citizens.

During the ceremony, Sheikh Mansour lauded the national competencies of the UAE and stressed the importance of continuous development across vital sectors, particularly in water, research, development, and innovation.

Al Mazrouei commended the wise leadership’s unwavering support for infrastructure development in the water sector, facilitating significant advancements and contributing to the welfare of citizens.

Al Mazrouei highlighted that with an annual production capacity of around 50 billion gallons, “NAQA’A” significantly bolsters the UAE’s water sector infrastructure, catering to the needs of approximately 2 million inhabitants in the country’s northern regions.

Al Mazrouei affirmed that the new plant not only enhances water security for the UAE but also supports the achievement of national strategies toward comprehensive sustainability.

The Minister also praised the continuous efforts of the Emirates Water and Electricity Company in supporting national targets in the water sector and its commitment to reducing the carbon footprint through the adoption of environmentally friendly technologies.

Al Ali underscored that the “NAQA’A” plant stands as one of the company’s paramount strategic projects, marking a proud achievement now operational at its full production capacity.

Al Ali elaborated that the company’s efforts spanned approximately 13 years, guided by a long-term plan. This plan entailed ambitious objectives aimed at progressively transitioning away from less efficient thermal technologies, with the overarching goal of reducing the carbon footprint by 75 percent.

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