Qatar has a population of 2.2 million growing at 3% annually and more pressing than the country’s need for successful economic diversification is its need for water. Qatar utilizes 460 liters of water per capita per day, the highest in the world. This consumption remains perilously high despite government warnings, and especially ironic, given negligible non-renewable water resources, rainfall below 75 mm a year and high temperatures stealing the little precipitation the country gets. The desalination market in Qatar is worth USD XX.XX billion as of 2016, and is expected to expand at the rate of XX% over 2016-2022. Desalination supplies more than X% of the country’s water needs, including for households, manufacturing, and infrastructure.
The depleting natural precipitation and ground-water levels and increasing population are the major drivers of the sector in the region. A continued effort at increasing diversification of government income from hydrocarbons is another factor that has led to an increase in construction projects, industries, manufacturing plants, etc., leading to more demand for fresh water. Moreover, the government is supporting and encouraging the establishment of desalination plants to meet the nation’s demands.
Restraints and Challenges
The biggest challenge of desalination is the cost. As per a study, the cost of desalinated water per meter cube was USD 1.04, 0.95 and 0.82 for MSF, MED, and RO, assuming a fuel cost of USD 1.5/ GJ. Moreover, energy accounts for approximately three-fourths of the supply cost of desalination. Transportation cost is also added to the overall cost, making desalination a very costly process. Another negative impact of desalination is on the environment with the treatment of brackish water leading to pollution of fresh water resources and soil. Discharge of salt on coastal or marine ecosystems also has a negative impact.
Qatar is focusing on expanding its desalination water supply by pumping in USD 4.67 billion, 4 times the amount set aside for the first five World Cup stadia. The largest utility firms in Qatar are involved in this multi-billion-dollar project, which aims to extend the water supply to the country for up to a week. KAHRAMAA (Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation) announced that it aims to complete the new facilities by 2017, complete with solar panels. KAHRAMAA has withheld the names of the companies contracted for these new plants, the process of tendering is open, and applicants can apply through the KAHRAMAA website.
While the country is focusing on increasing the number of plants, it has a unique focus on the type of energy and technology used. Qatar is one of the few countries which have not integrated reverse osmosis (RO) membrane technology beyond small-scale projects, despite conducting research on the process. Instead, thermal desalination process is widespread in the plants, with up to 327 MIGD (1.5 million m3).
About the Market
PESTLE Analysis (Overview): Macro market factors pertinent to this region
Market Definition: Main as well as associated/ancillary components constituting the market
Key Findings of the Study: Top headlines about market trends & numbers