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May 28, 2014

Dow awards Fluor EPC contract for Saudi RO-membrane manufacturing facility

Gerald Ondrey

The Dow Chemical Company (Midland, Mich.; has awarded Fluor Corp. (Irving, Tex.; the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for its reverse osmosis (RO) manufacturing facility in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Located in Jubail Industrial City II at the Sadara Chemical Co. complex, the facility will locally manufacture high-tech RO elements that purify water for drinking and industrial uses.

This is Dow’s first facility of its kind built outside the U.S., with expected date of completion by end of 2015. Over 100 jobs will be created at the facility, which will manufacture a range of Dow RO products including Dow FilmTec brackish water RO elements and seawater RO elements. The facility will supply the local Saudi Arabian market as well as the wider Middle East and Africa (MEA) region and markets with similar critical water needs, including Eastern Europe, India, China and South East Asia.

Saudi Arabia faces tremendous water scarcity and as a result, represents the largest seawater desalination markets in the world. The new Dow RO facility will not only bring local supply security of next generation technologies for water desalination but also a more cost effective water treatment solution as desalination via reverse osmosis has proven to be less energy-intensive compared to traditional thermal methods. RO elements are used for demineralizing brackish water or desalinating seawater for a variety of sectors and industrial applications, including water treatment, power generation, food & beverage processing, municipal desalination and water reuse.

“This state-of-the-art facility will bring enhanced capabilities and capacity to Dow’s RO business in Saudi Arabia and perfectly aligns to the Kingdom’s drive to offer increasingly diverse employment opportunities for Saudi nationals,” commented Snehal Desai, global business director, Dow Water & Process Solutions (, a global business unit of The Dow Chemical Company. “This investment also complements our activities at the Dow KSA Research Center at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) where our research focuses specifically on RO solutions in combination with ultra-filtration (UF) pre-treatment for seawater desalination.”



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