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The world’s largest reverse osmosis water desalination plant

The largest reverse osmosis water desalination plant in the world so far constructed is the Ras Al-Khair Power and Desalination Plant located in Saudi Arabia which produces over 1 million cubic meters of water a day

The construction of the desalination plant was completed in 2014 and delivers about 1 million cubic meters of fresh water a day along with 2400Mw of electricity that is generated at the plant.

17 Reverse osmosis units

What makes the plant the largest reverse osmosis (RO) water desalination plant is its 17 reverse osmosis units and 8 MSF units.  In the RO units, water from the pressurized seawater is separated from the dissolved salts by flowing through a water-permeable membrane. This liquid going through the membrane is pushed through by pressure resulting in a reduction of the dissolved salts during the process

Also read: Spanish company to build second largest desalination plant in Saudi Arabia

8 MSF units

The desalination plant is a hybrid plant because it also boasts 8 multi-stage flash units that heat the seawater before condensing the steam to produce desalinated water

Power generation

In order to become the largest reverse osmosis water desalination plant in the world a lot of energy is needed and this is supplied by the plant’s own generating units. This involved installation of five 600MW combined cycle gas turbine blocks and two 220MW single cycle gas turbines that in total generate over 2400Mw of electricity of which about 200Mw is used by the desalination plant itself.

Also read: DEWA retenders its 120 MIGD Hassyan Sea Water Reverse Osmosis plant IWP

The extension of the project into the sea consists of discharge pipes that are 3 kilometers long and an intake channel to that is about 1.4 kilometers long and that incorporates two rock breakwaters

Construction work on the plant began in  2011 and it was not until 2014 that it was commissioned. The plant serves the city of Riyadh’s 3.5 million people with clean potable water all year round.

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