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SWCC AL Shuqaiq Phase 3 Water Transmission System


Background: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is investing in the production of desalinated water as part of their Vision 2030 plans.  Saudi Arabia is home to some of the world's largest desalination plants (25% of global supply) and is the world's largest consumer of water next to the U.S. and Canada. To meet expected demand growth for water, the Kingdom will need to invest $5 billion a year in infrastructure development over the next 20 years. 

The Shuqaiq water treatment plant (WTS) is a vital infrastructural project for the region, which will relieve water shortages in the area, and contribute to the country's economic prosperity, providing local employment opportunities. 

The WTS is one of the most complex water transmission systems in the Kingdom: on its route from the Shuqaiq 3 desalination plant on the Red Sea coast, the pumped water must overcome a positive gradient of more than 2000m and requires tunnelling through several mountains. These exceptionally challenging conditions require significant hydraulic and tunnelling engineering. When phase 3 and phase 4 are integrated, the total water transmission capacity will be of 650 000 m3/day, making Shaqaiq one of the largest reverse osmosis plants in the world. 


Our Role

Leading engineering analytics firm, METSCO commissioned Ayesa to provide the detailed engineering design of package B and C (reservoir and pump stations) as part of the USD600m (SWCC) Saline Water Conversion Corporation, AL Shuqaiq Phase 3 Water Transmission System. We provided the detailed design of the 3,125m³/hr pumping station, 8km of 1600mm dia. gravity pipeline and 1200mm rising main. Our brief included all structural, architectural, civil, hydraulic, surge, M&E, controls & instrumentation design and cathodic protection design requirements. In addition, we undertook the structural design for a 170,000m³ water tank foundation, water quality monitoring building design and the site drainage and roads design for the water tank location including a provision for expansion with an additional five water tanks of 170,000m³.




Our design solution took into account key elements of the scheme which incorporated hydraulic (static, transient, surge), the pipeline route, civil, mechanical, electrical, process and disinfection system(s), SCADA control and communication along with the required build elements and detailed design of reservoir station and pumping station.

The detailed design of the reservoir station included the following elements: 106m dia. by 20m height water tank, eater quality monitoring building and quality monitoring system, site drainage and roads, tank farm piping, cathodic protection requirement, electrical design, control and instrumentation and security system design.

The design of the pumping station required the following elements: Two pumps with a 40m head and 3125m³/h, Pumping station piping, 1,200m of 60" dia. piping design, 1,200m of 48" dia. piping design, tie-in fittings, cathodic protection requirement, electrical, control and instrumentation design.
Ayesa added significant value to the project by reducing the number of foundation piles required to support the floating platforms. With the use of state-of-the-art geotechnical software and a thorough understanding of the soil characteristics, wave and current loadings we were able to optimise the design and reduce the number of piles required. This reduction resulted in cost and time savings.


Value Add and Outcomes

When completed, the plant will use over 7,000 reverse osmosis pressure vessels, equivalent to 54 kilometres, with more than 45,000 membranes working simultaneously to produce 18 million litres of pure water per hour.  Despite COVID-19, the project has managed to stay on track, with procurement and engineering kept on time with an impressive and ongoing site safety record. The project is scheduled to be completed by the final quarter of 2021, which will benefit the region economically and provide a sustainable future for further industrial expansion and development.  The supply of water for 1.8 million people will be secure, alleviating shortages within the region. The project was named the ‘Utilities Project of the Year' at the Middle East Energy Awards 2019 in Dubai, UAE, cementing its status as one of the flagship new infrastructure projects for the Kingdom


Construction Shuaqaiq3-1

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