Veolia unveils its energy-efficient desalination pilot plant for Masdar in Abu Dhabi

Veolia, through its desalination specialist SIDEM, has been collaborating on Masdar’s ambitious Renewable Energy Water Desalination Program. The pilot program aims to test and develop advanced, energy-efficient seawater desalination technologies, with the long-term goal of implementing renewable energy-powered desalination plants in the United Arab Emirates.
Press Release - Veolia Masdar desalination plant inauguration in Abu Dhabi (65.29 KB)

As technology partners, Veolia and Masdar have shared the costs to build and operate a pilot plant with the same characteristics as future large scale, innovative and low energy consumption desalination plants. The pilot plant, built in the Ghantoot area, has been producing potable water since August, abiding by the same operation constraints as a large plant and capable of handling very harsh seawater conditions (salinity up to 52 g/l, temperature which may exceed 42°C and harmful algal blooms).

The results obtained so far are extremely promising: Veolia has already lowered the electrical consumption performances by 7% compared to the contractual target initially required by Masdar, and is still improving on that every day. These energy cost savings can be added to those generated by a new pretreatment design which can save 25% on civil works and, therefore, reduce the footprint of the plant as well as its CAPEX.

The innovative technologies that Veolia has developed and implemented at Masdar include high performance seawater pretreatment combining air floatation and filtration, as well as a new osmosis membrane feed configuration able to deal with high treatment fluxes. A Swiss company which Veolia has been partnering with has also been developing new Energy Recovery Devices (ERD) which are implemented on the pilot. Although these are all new technologies, their development is advanced enough to consider them ready for large-scale implementation. The upcoming optimization phase will allow Veolia experts to push the limits of their system in order to further enhance the design and processes, in the pursuit of even better power efficiency while extending the lifetime of the plant.


Xavier Joseph, CEO of Veolia Gulf Countries said: “As a major player in water desalination for the past several
decades, Veolia now aims to develop the next generation of sustainable desalination technologies, helping
populations and industries in water-scarce regions access this precious resource in an environmentally sound
and energy-efficient way. We are very proud to be partnering with Masdar on this ambitious project.”

Veolia group is the global leader in optimized resource management. With over 179,000 employees* worldwide,
the Group designs and provides water, waste and energy management solutions that contribute to the
sustainable development of communities and industries. Through its three complementary business activities,
Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and to replenish them.
In 2014, the Veolia group supplied 96 million people with drinking water and 60 million people with wastewater
service, produced 52 million megawatt hours of energy and converted 31 million metric tons of waste into new
materials and energy. Veolia Environnement (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE) recorded consolidated revenue of
€24.4 billion* in 2014.

(*) 2014 pro-forma figures, including Dalkia International (100%) and excluding Dalkia France.

Group Media Relations

Laurent Obadia - Sandrine Guendoul
Stéphane Galfré - Marie Bouvet
Tel.: +33 (0)1 71 75 12 52
[email protected]

Veolia Middle East and Africa
Hélène Toury
Mobile: +971 (0)561188565
[email protected]

Veolia Water Technologies
Manon Painchaud
Mobile: +1 418 573 2735
[email protected]