Veolia, ENOWA, and Itochu sign MoU to build Neom desalination plants

In an agreement with ITOCHU and Veolia, which offers water, waste, and energy management solutions, ENOWA, the energy, water, and hydrogen division of NEOM, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). In the MoU, the companies have agreed to work together to develop a first-of-its-kind selective desalination plant powered by 100% renewable energy in OXAGON, NEOM’s advanced manufacturing and innovation city.

Veolia, ENOWA, and Itochu sign MoU to build Neom desalination plantsThe project facility will provide water in 2024, which will realize ENOWA’s ambitions to create a sustainable, abundant water supply for residential, industrial, and commercial use. The new plant will use advanced membrane technology to develop separate brine streams in alignment with NEOM’s commitment to the circular economy. As a result, ENOWA can create brine-derived products that will be developed and monetized downstream. The brine produced by desalination will be used to produce valuable industrial materials that can be exported or used locally.

With a capacity of 500,000m3 of desalinated water per day by project completion in 2025, the new plant will meet approximately 30% of NEOM’s forecasted total water consumption. To produce water and concentrated brine streams, NEOM will use advanced and innovative membrane separation technologies. Consequently, brine can be classified as a product, as opposed to waste, minimizing the plant’s environmental impact and redefining the entire business model for future desalination plants. ENOWA will treat the desalination plant’s brine to feed industries utilizing industrial salt, bromine, boron, potassium, gypsum, magnesium, and rare metal feedstocks.

The MoU will help ENOWA develop advanced green desalination systems and create future water solutions to tackle global water scarcity. With new desalination technologies and systems, ENOWA is changing the future of water supply. ENOWA will take advantage of NEOM’s clean slate approach to establish energy, water, and hydrogen production and regulation using circular systems and a sustainable economic framework in March 2022, realizing substantial returns on investment with zero sustainability footprint.