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Production of purified water has begun in what will become the world’s biggest seawater desalination facility, based in Saudi Arabia, according to state-owned Saudi Press Agency
Located 75km north-west of Jubail in Ras Al-Khair Industrial City, the desalination plant is predicted to cost more than SAR 27bn (US$7.2bn).
Once complete the facility will have a production capacity of more than 1mcm of drinking water a day and produce 2,600 MW of electricity.
Saudi Arabia is the largest producer of desalinated water and its government has allocated SAR 16.6bn ($4.4bn) for desalination projects this year alone, according to Bloomberg.
One major factor for why Saudi Arabia is expanding its water works infrastructure is the Kingdom’s growing population. It is estimated that the Ras Al-Khair desalination facility will generate approximately 15,000 jobs.
According to figures in the Saudi Gazette, once the plant is finished 800,000 cu m of water will be directed to Riyadh, 100,000 cu m will be supplied to the Al-Washm, Sudair, Majma, Al-Zulfi, and Al-Ghat regions, while another 100,000 cu m will be sent to those regions north of the Eastern Province, such as Hafar Al-Batin and Qaryat Al-Olya.