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Desalination Company of the Year

For the company which made the greatest overall contribution to the desalination industry in 2021.

IDE Technologies

What is it?

An Israel-based water treatment and desalination expert, investing in and building some of the world’s most high-concept plants, including desalting facilities which are among the largest and most cost-effective in the world.

What has it done?

Flawless progress on a series of key projects in 2021 for IDE was matched by a willingness to push the boundaries of technology and business development, marking a company that is hungry to expand both its own role, and the role of desalination in the world.

What makes it special?

Despite a slump in the global desalination contracting market, IDE saw a bumper year in 2021: growing revenue by 30% and making crucial progress on projects in four continents that will add 1 million m3/d of capacity to its portfolio. Plants at Sorek B (Israel), Formosa Plastics (Taiwan) and others show a company that is willing to take on desal challenges wherever and however they arise.

In a world where the handling and disposal of brine from desalination is proving a more controversial subject than ever before, IDE’s continuous technological development offers a chink of hope for an industry under constant environmental scrutiny. 2021 saw it complete a pilot of its pulse-flow RO technology that squeezed a further 80% of product water from brine reject at a plant in Abilene, Texas, that offered to rewrite the rules on recovery efficiency for the industry.


The company demonstrated an endless willingness to crack open new and developing markets by any means necessary in 2021. Direct negotiations with authorities in Mumbai promise to make desal a part of the mix in India’s largest city, while a proposal for a merchant seawater desalination project in Freeport, Texas, offered a blueprint for a desal breakthrough in the Lone Star state. Meanwhile the signing of international peace accords saw IDE dip its toes into the world’s largest desalination markets in the Persian Gulf for the first time in its history.



What is it?

The water business of Spanish construction giant Acciona and the driving force behind the design and construction of some of the world’s largest and most advanced desalination plants. Its portfolio of delivered projects covers 80 desalination plants with a combined capacity of almost 6 million m3/d.

What has it done?

Acciona continued its role as the high-tech EPC contractor of choice for the huge desalination markets of the Gulf in 2021, scooping up a host of key references and delivering on major ongoing projects, while simultaneously demonstrating its excellence in new areas of business around the world.

What makes it special?

In a rip-roaring year for business development, Acciona secured contracts for three of the world’s most high-profile desalination contracts. Contract wins at Los Cabos (Mexico), Ras Laffan (Qatar) and Jubail 3b (Saudi Arabia) will together add a whopping 874,000m3/d of capacity to the company’s reference sheet, and show a contractor at the absolute top of its game.

The completion of the 182,000m3/d Jebel Ali brownfield SWRO plant in Dubai not only demonstrates Acciona’s reputation as the unparalleled EPC expert for the huge markets in the Gulf, but also marks a huge contribution to the emirate’s ambitious decarbonisation drive by easing reliance on ageing thermal desalination plants.


The company has been keen to demonstrate its operating credentials can match its enviable project delivery capabilities; this paid off amply in 2021 as the company secured a string of complex but lucrative operating contracts to take responsibility for key plants at Talau (Peru) and Oropesa (Spain).