Saudi Arabia

Jubail RO Desalination Plant


The Seawater cooling system in Jubail is a vital utility service which provides uninterrupted supply of seawater for non-contact process cooling to the primary industries of Jubail Industrial City.

The Seawater cooling facility consists of two adjacent pumping stations near the seashore and a distribution canal connected to the customers. Seawater pumped into the distribution canal flows by gravity to the customers and the return water flows by gravity back to the sea. Seawater is drawn from the Arabian Gulf through dredged intake channels. The total installed capacity of the pumping stations is 346 cubic meters per second (29.9million cubic meters per day).

Scope of Works

Al Fatah Water developed a Desalination plant directly adjacent to the intake chamber at the Port of Jubail. As part of the works ByrneLooby carried out the design of a major reclamation area and associated intake chamber adjacent to the Marafiq intake chamber. ByrneLooby carried out an environmental appraisal and Risk assessment, groundwater hydraulic and sedimentation modelling and sediment management plan for the overall works. This solution included the design of curtains to contain the fine particles of silt that are discharged into the water from dredging and reclamation activities. Most dredging and reclamation projects in the Gulf and internationally require silt curtains to be installed to protect the environment under strict regulations set by the Government and Environmental Agencies. The design of the silt curtain application involved innovative unique features 
that required site-specific adaptations. 

Key Challenges

During the scoping of the project it was recognised that corals are sensitive to turbidity and sedimentation, caused by dredging. The risks and severity of impact from dredging (and other sediment disturbances) on corals are primarily related to the intensity, duration and frequency of exposure to increased turbidity and sedimentation. The sensitivity of a coral reef to dredging impacts and its ability to recover depend on the antecedent ecological conditions of the reef, its resilience and the ambient conditions normally experienced. ByrneLooby managed the sensitivity and environmental appraisal of this element as part of its commission.