AES Arabia offers innovative water solutions for MENA region

Asad Khan

AES Arabia designs and manufactures water and wastewater solutions for the MENA region, serving the energy, municipality, industrial and commercial sectors


The services offered by AES include water and waste water treatment, odour control, water treatment plants as well as chemical injection skids.

According to AES’ Manager - Business Development, Asad Iqbal Khan (pictured), “In the Middle East, water resources are considered to be scarce and expensive.

“Alternative water sources such as waste water can provide an economical, ecologically-friendly option towards water sustainability.

“In addition, the ever-evolving and maturing environmental discharge standards and regulations have driven the use of technologies and solutions to keep producers competitive.”

AES is therefore continually devising new and innovative strategies to cope with these challenges and take advantage of the increasing demand for alternative water sources.

As an example, AES was able to complete the design, manufacture and installation of a 24,000 cu m desalination plant for Zubair Petrochemicals in Iraq, despite security concerns.

Awarded to the company by the United Nations’ Department of International Development (DFID), AES completed the project remotely from Kuwait. The company recently said it was ready to re-enter the Iraq market and is currently pursuing opportunities in the country.

AES has also worked on many other challenging projects according to Khan, “In the GCC where water is as rare as a diamond, a mile deep, and very salty, one of our clients wanted to produce 5,650 cu m/d irrigation and potable water from his 5,750 cu m/d limited well water source.

“Not only that, the client in fact wanted to recover all of the filter backwash water, floor drains, and spent regeneration chemicals so the discharge from the plant was put to an absolute minimum,” Khan added.

AES constructed a plant for the client which implemented a process of high pressure reverse osmosis (HPRO), with the chemical composition of the feed water allowing for 75 per cent recovery of the waste stream.

Two waste streams coming from the plant were sent to different locations, with the brine sent to an evaporation pond, while the lime slurry was sent to sludge drying beds. Decanted water from the lime slurry was then reclaimed back and put into the system for further recovery.

Khan said, “Fine-tuning was done to reduce the lime slurry by up to 20 per cent through reducing the lime and adding caustic instead. Part of the slurry was recycled back to the inlet of the clarifiers providing seeds for precipitate particles to form on improving the solids capacity and minimising solids carryover.”

The plant was successfully commissioned and put in service, meaning the client was able to yield 7,200 cu m/d from a total inlet of 7,950 cu m/d.

Despite stiff competition from the recent influx of Asian companies in to the market, the AES spokesperson claimed, “We have been doing well and at a good pace of growth in the market share, not only in the GCC but also the MENA region.”

As proof of its success, AES was named company of the year at CWC Energy’s Global Water Oil and Gas Summit 2012 in Dubai.

Looking to the future, the company is planning further expansion, focusing on research and development.

“As part of the expansion plan we have taken steps further to invest in the research and development within the company to materialise the concept and implement the concepts we already have in the field of water and waste water,” Khan concluded.

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