QEWC and HBKU’s QEERI Sign MoU to Support Water Security in Qatar

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Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QWEC) and Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop science based programs and install pilot tests for the development of desalination facilities to be in line with water security initiatives in Qatar.

One of the overall objectives of QEERI, one of Hamad bin Khalifa University’s prestigious research institutes, is to achieve water security in Qatar by increasing access to high quality, adequate, affordable and sustainable water that meets and supports the country’s fast expanding and evolving social and development programs. The research conducted at the institute is guided by an aim to increase energy efficiency, reduce costs, and minimize health risks and environmental impacts.

The Reverse Osmosis (RO) pilot test would be used to develop and optimize critical pre-treatment processes to ensure reliable operation in desalination facilities, even during algal blooms, and the exceeding of the boron concentration in the RO permeates. The high performance Multi Effect Distillation (MED) pilot test would be used to develop a proof of concept of patented ideas that reduce the energy consumption and improve energy efficiency of MED technology.

QEWC offered and assigned the site at Dukhan coast in order to secure the intake/outfall facilities and the electricity required to operate both RO and MED pilot test continuously. QEWC also agreed to support the project with facilities, utilities, and skilled labor to ensure 24 hour -7 day continuous operation. The State of Qatar depends on desalinated seawater to satisfy 99% of its municipal water demand. The desalination methods used in Qatar and most of the Gulf Cooperation Council region are energy intensive and thus the desalted water is expensive.

Dr. Khalid Al-Subai, Acting Executive Director at QEERI explained: “This agreement with QEWC is crucial to test some of the processes developed by QEERI that can radically reduce the cost and energy use of current desalination methods. We highly appreciate QEWC’s offer.” Mr. Fahad H. Al Mohannadi, General Manager and Managing Director of QEWC, added: “Qatar Electricity and Water Company aim to address future challenges in water scarcity and have selected a partner for future research to build capabilities in Qatar and recognize ways and means to overcome those challenges, with the best possible technologies.”