Skip to content

Desalination Company of the Year

For the company which made the greatest overall contribution to the desalination industry in 2018.

Acciona Agua

What is it?

The water arm of Spanish construction conglomerate Acciona, with experience building some of the world’s largest and most advanced desalination plants, alongside an increasingly sophisticated involvement in operations, design, management and project investment.

What has it done?

2018 saw Acciona flex its muscles as perhaps the world’s most successful desalination contractor, securing construction responsibility for a dazzling array of high-profile and high-concept facilities. Equally at home with margins-focused PPP developers or conservative water utilities, the company’s adaptability, nous and construction expertise make it a force to be reckoned with in the EPC markets.

What makes it special?

From a construction point of view, Acciona was heavily involved in 2018’s most exciting and most expensive projects. In the Gulf it picked up massive deals to build a brace of colossal facilities at Al Khobar (Saudi Arabia) plus Dubai’s latest major plant at Jebel Ali (Dubai). The former marked the first time Saudi Arabia’s national desalination company had worked with a Spanish contractor, demonstrating how canny contractors like Acciona can shift the market.

Matching its success serving the world’s largest water utilities, Acciona was equally successful in the hyper-competitive EPC-for-BOT market alongside its investment partners, bringing its design expertise to bear in creating tailored plants for any situation.


It secured the deal to build sub-Saharan Africa’s largest desal facility in Mombasa, and its design for the Shuqaiq 3 IWP in Saudi Arabia contributed to a record-at-the-time benchmark water pricing tariff of just $0.52/m3.

While it is best known for its construction excellence the country has been making waves outside these markets, with increasing strength and confidence backing EPC work with operations and equity. Its design and technology skills permeate every part of the process, allowing a truly holistic picture of desalination excellence.


IDE Technologies

What is it?

A desalination project developer, EPC contractor and operator based in Israel, focusing on the design, construction and delivery of high-profile and high-design desalination plants in domestic and international markets.

What has it done?

In 2018 the company received the ultimate backing from its own leaders with a high-profile management-backed buyout that meant the team that had made IDE one of the world desalination leaders now directly controlled its future. The company’s unparalleled buccaneering approach to new contracts and new technologies now has even more impetus.

What makes it special?

A stunning corporate restructuring in 2018 saw a management-led investment team take control of a majority stake in the company, marking a serious level of commitment, and followed by an immediate repositioning to take maximum advantage of the resurgent local market by striking a bold deal that assuaged fears of anti-trust authorities and opened up Israeli project markets again to the country’s leading desal experts.

The company is surfing the buoyant international commodities market, with the mining industry in Chile providing one of the company’s most impressive references to date.


The 103,680m3/d Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 desalination project serving Teck Resources’ copper mine will deploy a prefabricated modular solution with minimal maintenance requirements to overcome the remote location and minimise delivery time while satisfying stringent local environmental regulations.

During 2018 the company continued its constant drive to improve the quality and performance of desalination technology through high-level research. Its newly developed MAXH2O Pulse Flow Reverse Osmosis technology for brackish water brine and industrial effluent treatment yields a very high recovery through a cost-effective process, operating without chemicals and most importantly, with no risk of scaling and biofouling.

%d bloggers like this: