Wholly driven by continued commitment and strong keenness to secure the Kingdom’s increasingly growing need for fresh water and enthused with the holistic vision for sustainable development in all walks of life, the wise leadership has well introduced desalination to the Kingdom for more than 100 years, specifically dating back to 1905. Replaying the past memory, a unit of condensation and distillation of saline seawater was first put into action in Jeddah, on the Red Sea; it was removed from one of the sunken ships ashore and was then installed in the port. Nicknamed AL-KANDASA, the condensation and distillation unit of seawater was the first to have been established on land, as this technology was used only in military and commercial ships that sailed for days and weeks with non-stop to be supplied with water. The purposeful strategy of the unit was to supply Jeddah with fresh water. Given the increasingly growing population, the Kingdom's dependence on the desalination industry has gone on the increase, making it critically necessary to adopt this industry, develop innovatively productive solutions powered by state-of-the-art technologies to better enhance the desalination processes.
Back in 1974, SWCC was established as an independent governmental institution with a legal personality, mandated and entrusted with desalination of seawater and delivery of desalinated water produced to various regions across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. To this effect, single-purpose production systems were established for the production of desalinated water only, or dual-purpose production systems to equally generate water and electricity. With this in mind, SWCC has rolled up its sleeves and started building modern desalination production systems on the eastern and western coasts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
With this coming into play, the unremitting and concerted efforts made by the Kingdom were the culmination of a hundred years of practice enriched by experience that was honed to perfection, in which the Kingdom took the lead in the desalination sector at the global level, par excellence, to develop and enhance this industry, while efficiently contributing to the sustainable development of the human resources. Taken together, the production of fresh water doubled one hundred times and eighty times of electricity in two decades.
With forty-three years of contribution, perseverance and development coming into play, SWCC established (32) desalination production systems on the eastern and western coasts. The fresh water produced in 2020 totaled (1.9) billion cubic meters, at (5.9) million cubic meters of daily production of desalinated water. The two production systems of Jubail and Ras Al-Khair are among the largest production systems across the world in the desalination industry. Of great note, SWCC thus records the most important human achievements.
Believing in the substantial importance of conducting scientific research yoked together with technical development, as it is the main driver of industrial development across all sectors, and in perfect harmony with the royal vision of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz that we come into a stage ridded with a whole host of uneasy challenges, which eventually requires a comprehensive objective view of the development of the economy mechanisms. It is such a development that must be based on research studies and solid scientific principles. Of great note, the concerted efforts of a wealth of more than (100) highly-qualified Saudi researchers, subject-matter experts, engineers and well-trained technicians working in tandem in the Institute for Research and Desalination Technologies in Jubail, which was established in 1987 are well reflected in improving production of desalinated water. To this effect, continued research studies and tests are methodologically conducted, while proving relevant theories before putting them into practice across the commercial establishments. The Institute for Research and Desalination Technologies, in turn, has adopted the objectives of SWCC, which aim for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to be a global reference for the application and development of desalination technologies.