desalination-industries-in-qatar-industry
Published

December 2016

Analysis of the Desalination Industry in Qatar - Water Consumption, Production by Desalination, Power Consumption, and New Technologies in Water Production & Energy Efficiency, and Trends (2016 - 2021)

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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.

Drivers

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.

Opportunities

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).

Key Developments

  • The first phase of the project of setting up new desalination plants entails 24 reservoirs across properties in Um Salal, Rawdat Rashid, Al-Thumama, Abu Nakhla and Um Bakara. These reservoirs will have a combined capacity of 2.3 billion gallons of water.
  • Tendering for the new RO equipped desalination plants can be done through the KAHRAMAA website, and the last tender, ending on 4th January 2016, called applicants for supplying, installing, and commissioning of 2000 m3/day single unit of RO desalination system for Asr project with high salinity groundwater.
  • There is a perceptible shift in terms of technology used. The thermal desalination process has proved to be expensive in the long run because of the increasing demand and the massive amounts of hydrocarbons required to produce water. Thus, reverse osmosis, embraced because of its lower cost, and more effective filtration, is progressively being implemented in the new plants.
  • Mindful of the exhaustible nature of the hydrocarbons in the country’s reserves, the country plans to use solar panels and other renewable energy sources on its new plants to produce water. Towards this end, the Qatar government has imposed strict policies to ensure energy efficiency so as to lower carbon emissions.
  • The Ras Laffan is a combined-cycle power plant with a seawater desalination plant that produces around 450 thousand cubic meters of drinking water per day. It is the first independent power and desalination plant in Qatar. It is a joint venture of US AES Corporation, QEWC, Qatar Petroleum and Gulf Investment Corporation of Kuwait with an equity share of 55%, 25%, 10%, and 10%, respectively.

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

Market Dynamics:

  • Drivers: What are the key factors driving growth in the market?
  • Restraints: Most relevant threats and restraints that hinder the growth of the market
  • Opportunities: Sectors of high return or quick turnaround on investment
  • Market Concentration: Porter’s 5 Forces Analysis quantified by a comprehensive list of parameters

Chain Analysis:

Competition:

  • Market Share Analysis: Top players in the market (by value and volume)
  • Company Profiles: Pertinent details about leading, high growth, and innovation-motivated stakeholders with contact, operations, product/service offerings, financials, and strategies & insights
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