Acciona, a global leader in renewable energy, water treatment and management, along with its consortium partner Sepco 3, has started up the Jubail 3B desalination plant, energising the facility by switching on the power transformers and its downstream switchgears.
This milestone has been achieved in close cooperation with Al Jubail International Water Company and the Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC), the company said. 
The next step will be to start operating the solo pumps, heading the seawater availability to move forward with the wet commissioning, it said. 
Once all the required parameters are met in each stage of filtration, the process will move on until the plant produces potable water, expected in the coming months, with the goal of having the plant fully operational by 2024, it said.
The utility, equipped with reverse osmosis technology, will have a daily capacity of 570,000 cu m per day to supply 2 million people in the cities of Riyadh and Qassim once commercially operational in 2024. 
The reverse osmosis technology is not only the most economical, but also the most sustainable solution. For desalinating 1,000 litres of water, it uses the same amount of energy as an air conditioning system in a house for one hour, it said.
“This is a major milestone achieved and proves that the cooperation spirit and joined efforts extended by all the stakeholders, are allowing us to complete all phases on time, for the plant to be fully operational by 2024,” said Adelaida Fernandez Díaz, Project Director of Jubail 3B.
Javier Nieto, Country Director of Saudi Arabia on the Acciona’s Water business, highlighted the Jubail 3 B Project as a benchmark for desalination plants using renewal energy. 
“This plant will contribute to Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and net-zero objectives, which seek to reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels and drive the shift to clean energy,” he said. 
In addition to the reverse osmosis (RO) desalination plant, Acciona will build a 61 MWp solar photovoltaic installation next to it. This is the largest in-house solar capability for a desalination plant in Saudi Arabia, which will reduce the power consumption from the grid. For this purpose, 70 per cent of all available land will be covered with photovoltaic panels that will substantially reduce the CO2 emissions. - TradeArabia News Service