(MENAFN - Arab News) The Saline Water Conversion Corporation has announced the closure of the Tahlia desalination plant, one of the oldest plants in Jeddah.
The plant was built in 1979 at a distance from Jeddah on the Red Sea but the rapid growth of the city has inched its way up to the plant and fashionable neighborhoods and high end shopping malls have spurted in its vicinity.
The desalination plant known as Phase III was producing 75,987 cubic meters of water and 256MW electricity per day, according to SWCC.
Speaking to Arab News, Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) spokesperson Abdulaziz Mazour said that the old plant had been shut down because it had aged and was an environmental hazard. "In view of our aim to save energy and protect the environment, we are working to minimize pollutant emissions from our plants," he said.
He said that the new plant known as Jeddah RO III has an initial production capacity of 240,000 cubic meters which will increase to up to 400,000 cubic meters of water per day.
Mazour said: "The closing down of the Tahlia plant will not affect water supplies to Jeddah as the Shuaiba plant and others will continue to pump water to the city."
A total of five desalination plants in addition to the Shuaiba plant are operating in Jeddah with a production capacity of 402,154.00 cubic meters of water per day.
Mohammed Arifuddin, a technical expert, told Arab News that the new plant uses reverse osmosis which is cost effective and environment friendly. The old thermal plants consumed more energy and there was more pollution, he added.