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Transforming Operations to Meet Strategic Objectives

Published: November 8, 2021

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Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC)

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Saudi Arabia

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Optimization of operations and reduction of production cost

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  • Unit cost reduction potential of 10-30% identified across the four sites;
  • Production increase of 1.4M m3/day achieved within 13 months of project commencement without CAPEX Investment;

SWCC is the global leader in seawater desalination and the 2nd largest electricity producer in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). It maintains more than 7,000 km of water pipelines, and runs 28 plants with a desalination capacity in excess of 5 million m3/day.

In 2016, SWCC identified the reduction of unit production costs and the increase of fresh water production as critical not only to meet the 4-year national transformation program goals and their commitment to the 2030 Vision, but also to ensure a sustainable, internationally competitive business model. SWCC selected DuPont Sustainable Solutions (DSS) as a partner to help establish safety mindset, find ways to optimize operations and reduce production costs.

The DSS team assessed four of the largest desalination plants including the water transmission systems. The assessment focused on developing a fundamental understanding of the production losses within the plant, as well as identifying the key cost drivers for each unit of production. By developing and introducing an operating model that provided a dynamic response to the water and electricity demand on the plants, DSS was able to not only make a radical impact on the asset availability and efficiency of the plants, but also on the overall reliability thereof. DSS subsequently designed a roadmap for the way forward, identifying more than 100 improvement initiatives that were considered quick wins in support of increasing production, whilst also reducing the unit cost of production. As a result of implementing these zero capex initiatives, DSS unlocked production capacity equivalent to the construction of a new plant, valued at $3.5bn.

Increasing the production of desalinated water from 3.5 to 5 million m3 per day is a great achievement for Saudi Arabia

HRH Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman