Dow Chemical Co. will open its first overseas reverse osmosis manufacturing facility in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Midland-based company announced Tuesday.
Expected to open by the end of 2015 with more than 100 employees, the facility will purify water for drinking and industrial uses, including power generation, food and beverage processing, and water reuse.
“This state-of-the-art facility will bring enhanced capabilities and capacity to Dow’s reverse osmosis business in Saudi Arabia and perfectly aligns to the Kingdom’s drive to offer increasingly diverse employment opportunities for Saudi nationals,” says Snehal Desai, global business director of Dow Water and Process Solutions.
Saudi Arabia, which sees very little rainfall, represents the largest seawater desalination market in the world. Desai says the Dow facility will supply the local market as well as the Middle East, Africa, and markets with similar critical water needs including Eastern Europe, India, China, and South East Asia.
Desai says the new facility complements the company’s research at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, which focuses on reverse osmosis in combination with ultra-filtration pre-treatment for desalination, or removing salt from seawater.
Desalination via reverse osmosis provides a more cost effective water treatment solution when compared to traditional thermal methods, which are more energy intensive, Desai says.