KarmWater, the water solutions division of KarmSolar, Monday announced the inauguration of the first solar-powered water desalination plant in Marsa Alam with a 50% increased daily capacity of 300 m3/day with a 42% better water salinity compared to other conventional sources in the area.
The station was built under a WPA (Water Purchase Agreement) contract with Red Sea Diving Safari – Marsa Shagra; one of the oldest resorts in the Red Sea region, and will cover 100% of the resort’s water needs all-year round. The water produced will be provided at a competitive price that values 25% less than the market norm.
Nearly 40% of the cost of the water desalination process is energy to operate the plant. The utilization of solar energy instead of any other source is yielding a more economical and competitively priced renewable source of water. This could potentially drive much greater growth and expansion for water desalination, for which historically the hurdle has been cost. Currently, 30% of the station’s energy consumption is solar produced by KarmSolar’s Marsa Alam Solar Grid, while aiming to reach 100% within the next decade.
In line with KarmWater’s vision, the company is committed to providing access to clean fresh water in the region, becoming a leader in the market by offering cheaper and better-quality solutions to multiple off takers. In addition, KarmWater plans to invest in infrastructure such as pipelines that will allow delivery of desalinated water directly to customers, eliminating the need for water trucks. The desalinated water can also be used for agricultural purposes, supporting the local farming community.
Ahmed Zahran, CEO of KarmSolar, said: “The inauguration of our desalination station at Marsa Shagra is another important milestone in our journey towards vertical integration. This development is in line with our overall vision of becoming a multi utility provider. Our solar grid in Marsa Alam used to provide clients of the region with power. Now, the energy produced will also work towards providing them with a reliable and economical source of water.”
“Following the success of working with KarmSolar for our electricity generation, we were very excited to be able to collaborate on a new water desalination station at Marsa Shagra. The water quality is consistently, significantly better than the previous station we were using while at the same time being economical and much more environmentally friendly. In a 24/7 operation in a remote location such as ours, reliability is very important, but so is protecting our natural resources. We are pleased to have found a partner who shares our vision and who can help us reduce our environmental impact while maintaining high service quality.” said Rafik Farouk, General Manager of Red Sea Diving Safari – Marsa Shagra.
Egypt is known for its high dependency on the Nile for fresh water, and its water resources are under great pressure. Water scarcity due to a rapidly growing population, increasing industrial and agricultural activity, and development in upstream regions, has meant that this has been on the national agenda of priorities for some time. The government, via the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Egypt, had announced commitment to a desalination program to generate 3.3 million cubic metres of water daily in phase one, and eventually 8.8 million cubic meters daily.
KarmWater’s mother company; KarmSolar, has for the second consecutive year been featured in the Financial Times’ list of Fastest Growing Companies in Africa, ranking 19th out of a list of 100 companies all over Africa, and is one of two Egyptian companies in the top 20.