Saudi private sector to drive water industry growth as Kingdom ups desalination capacity 

Published on January 9, 2023

RIYADH: Saud Arabia has been recognized as a water sector growth hotspot on the back of its considerable private sector opportunities, according to a report released ahead of the World Future Energy Summit, to be held from Jan. 16-18 in Abu Dhabi. 

With a focus on the Kingdom, the business event for future energy and sustainability is set to discuss desalination, wastewater treatment and digitization as key growth opportunities for the Middle East’s water sector.   

As Saudi Arabia is addressing the increasing water demand caused by economic diversification, population growth and urbanization, the report highlights the Kingdom’s potential to drive private sector growth in the water sector.  

The Kingdom is investing greatly in wastewater treatment infrastructure to allow the recycling and reuse of water.   

Desalination capacity is expected to increase to 7.5 million cubic meters per day by 2027 in the Kingdom, up from its current capacity of just over 3 million cubic meters daily.   

The Saudi government is also investing in 147 sewage treatment plants all around the country, as well as almost 15,000 km of wastewater collection networks.  

The World Future Energy Summit report also highlighted the UAE and Türkiye for effectively reusing water.   

The report identifies the UAE’s strong water sector project pipeline and its support of the country’s long-term growth.   

Investments worth $2.8 billion are expected to take place in the desalination segment as the region advances to achieve treated water reuse to 95 percent, the report added.   

As for Türkiye, its struggle with water stress from ineffective water usage is expected to drive demand for water and wastewater treatment products and systems forward.   

“Demand for recycling systems based on ZLD and RO technologies is predicted to meet the country’s development plan target of boosting wastewater reuse to 5 percent by the end of 2023,” stated the report.   

With Vision 2030 at the heart of its growth, Saudi Arabia is targeting to increase the private sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product from 40 percent to 65 percent by 2030.   

The operating revenues of the business sector in Saudi Arabia during 2022 alone surpassed SR4 trillion ($1 trillion), according to official data released by the General Authority for Statistics.   

GASTAT data further revealed that the highest revenue-generating activities were registered in manufacturing, mining and quarrying, as well as wholesale and retail trade.   

Compared to 2021, operating revenues of business establishments rose substantially, supported by an increase in many economic activities, reaching 26 percent.  


Source: Press release

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