KAUST and ACWA Power sign strategic green desalination project agreements

21 November, 2022

On Wednesday, November 9, 2022: KAUST today signed four strategic project agreements with ACWA Power, a leading Saudi developer, investor, and operator of power generation, water desalination and green hydrogen plants worldwide. 

This research collaboration aims to drive greener desalination initiatives towards tangible impact both in Saudi Arabia and internationally; contributing to Saudi Vision 2030 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The signing ceremony, which took place in KAUST, highlights the long-term research and innovation partnership between academia and industry in Saudi Arabia. Such collaborations will continue to be crucial in enabling the Kingdom to remain at the forefront of international scientific advances and maintain its position as a world leader in desalinated water production.
KAUST and ACWA Power have a mutual interest in optimising seawater desalination processes and better monitoring/predicting desalination plant operations through artificial intelligence and modeling. With presence in 13 countries, ACWA Power is one of the world's leading independent developers, investors, and operators of power generation and desalinated water production plants.

“This collaboration with ACWA Power will significantly impact the desalination sector. Our partnership will help the translation of academic research into demonstrable impact, leading to greener desalination at lower cost, contributing to the Kingdom's water-secure future.“ said Prof. Johannes Vrouwenvelder, Director of the Water Desalination and Reuse Center at KAUST.


From left to right: Ratul Das (ACWA Power), Prof. Cristian Picioreanu (WDRC), Erwan Arzel (ORA), Thomas Altmann (ACWA Power), Prof. Johannes Vrouwenvelder (WDRC Director), Prof. Noreddine Ghaffour (WDRC), Victor Otoadese (WDRC)

"Innovation is very much in the heart of our work; it brings us forward; it’s the future. With KAUST, we have found a research partner who is adding value to our business, and our work is very complimentary. The projects will be a demonstrate the potential of academia and business working in tandem to solve real world challenges of bringing fresh water through desalination to both communities and industries alike. We hope that our collaboration will directly result in the implementation of research-backed projects that deliver impact," said Thomas Altmann, Executive Vice President of Innovation and New Technology, ACWA Power.

News stories:

Saudi Gazette article | Okaz article