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Industrial Desalination Plant of the Year

For the industrial desalination plant, commissioned during 2017, that represents the most impressive technical or ecologically sustainable achievement in the industry.

Jazan IGCC desalination plant, Saudi Arabia

What is it?

An 80,000m3/d reverse osmosis desalination plant fed by a combination of seawater and treated wastewater. The desalted water is supplied to Saudi Aramco’s Jazan integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) power plant on the Kingdom’s Red Sea coast.

Who is involved?

The plant was delivered on a turnkey basis by AES Arabia as part of a contract being run by the development’s overarching EPC contractor, Técnicas Reunidas. RO membranes were supplied by Hydranautics.

What makes it special?

As the largest desalination plant in the world directly serving the oil & gas industry, the Jazan facility sets a new benchmark for desal in an industry that is the lifeblood of the GCC region, helping to lessen the frequently conflicting demands of municipal and industrial users.

AES wielded its consummate in-house experience and market-leading manufacturing capabilities to assemble large parts of the installation off-site, slashing the price of the project for the client, and significantly reducing the delivery time.


By combining seawater and treated wastewater at the feedwater stage, the plant elegantly closes the water loop, tackling disposal issues while creating a new source of water for its blue-chip industrial client. A true model of sustainable industrial water development.


Sarlux desalination plant, Italy

What is it?

A 12,000m3/d seawater reverse osmosis plant near Cagliari in Sardinia. The plant delivers ultrapure water to high-pressure boilers at the nearby refinery owned by Italian energy group Saras S.p.A.

Who is involved?

The plant was designed and built by Acciona Agua, which will also operate the facility for a minimum of six years. The installation features an array of technologies, including IntegraPac UF modules, RO membranes and EDI-310 electrodeionisation modules supplied by Dow.

What makes it special?

As the largest desalination plant serving an industrial client anywhere in the Mediterranean region, the facility marks a stunning new peak of scale for ultrapure water technology, proving that seawater can be the answer to Europe’s growing industrial needs, even for the largest and most demanding of customers.

By offering an entirely containerised solution, Acciona gracefully achieved the lowest footprint possible for a plant of its type, with the green credentials of the site complemented by the chemical-free nature of the EDI installation, which offers consistently high-quality permeate without the need for environmental mitigation.


The project delivers a complex multi-stage treatment process while still achieving an astonishingly low energy ticker: the two-stage RO system consumes just 2.94 kWh/m3 and the entire installation only 3.2 kWh/m3. In an energy-conscious era, such figures are a panacea both for the client and the environment.

The Global Water Awards 2018 is proudly sponsored by:

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