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Desalination Company of the Year

For the desalination company which made the greatest overall contribution to the desalination industry in 2015.

Acciona Agua

What is it?

A Spanish EPC contractor and project developer active in the desalination, water and wastewater markets globally.

What has it done?

Acciona Agua had a stellar year in the international desalination market in 2015, commissioning its second-largest project ever – at Torrevieja in Spain – while winning a contract to supply a pair of reverse osmosis plants in Cape Verde. It also delivered on its commitment to revolutionise desalination in the Gulf, bringing the 136,383m³/d Fujairah F1 expansion in Abu Dhabi online in November, whilst securing a pair of flagship contracts in Qatar.

What makes it special?

Acciona Agua’s rise in the Gulf desalination market has been nothing short of meteoric. From a standing start in 2012, it succeeded in bringing the 136,383m³/d Fujairah F1 expansion online last year, and secured two important EPC contracts in Qatar in May. It is now the Spanish company with the single largest presence in the Gulf desalination market.

The GCC’s historical resistance to membrane desalination means that most EPC contractors would have been happy to be awarded Qatar’s first large-scale reverse osmosis facility (the 164,000m³/d Ras Abu Fontas A3 plant). Acciona made it a double whammy by simultaneously winning the contract to build the 284,000m³/d RO component of the Facility D plant, also in Qatar.


The success of Acciona Agua’s desalination business doesn’t just come down to skilful negotiation and forward-thinking process engineering. It is backed by a robust R&D team, which is developing the UltraDAF-Evo pre-treatment system to deal with algal blooms, the Hiflus membrane-based pre-treatment application, an energy-efficient backwash treatment system (Vetra), and HydroBionets, a wireless sensor to detect membrane soiling.


Black and Veatch

What is it?

The water division of a global employee-owned engineering, consulting and construction company, with expertise covering membrane, thermal and hybrid systems for both brackish and seawater desalination systems.

What has it done?

Last year marked a new dawn in the company’s efforts to target dynamic high-value international markets, securing a dazzling array of marquee desalination contracts in crucial markets such as Saudi Arabia and Singapore. At the same time, it continued to prove its advanced water credentials at home – with the successful commissioning of the Orange County groundwater recharge project showing that desal expertise can help close the water cycle – while all the while pushing the boundaries of holistic water treatment and management through work with the WateReuse Research Foundation.

What makes it special?

The company has long been keen to rebalance its water business with a larger emphasis on international contracts. The securing of the contract to advise the Saline Water Conversion Corporation on Jeddah 4 – the first mass-scale membrane plant in Saudi Arabia – plus major consultancy wins with PUB in Singapore and the government of the Hong Kong SAR proves that B&V’s desalination credentials are making their mark on the largest clients in the most significant markets around the world.

As independent engineer on the Carlsbad desalination project, B&V was faced with a mind-boggling array of technical and permitting issues on one of the most complex and long-running projects in desal history. The successful commissioning of the plant in 2015 marks a staggering achievement for B&V, the Carlsbad team, and the desal industry as a whole.


The sharing of technological solutions between desalination and wastewater reuse is becoming more and more commonplace, partly thanks to the pioneering work undertaken by Black & Veatch’s pragmatic engineers. The company’s design blueprint for the expansion of the Orange County Groundwater Replenishment System in California – which came online last year – demanded a similar suite of technologies to brackish water desalination to achieve the same end result.

The Global Water Awards 2018 is proudly sponsored by:

Evoqua logo, links to Evoqua homepage

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