Shuwaikh RO Project, Kuwait


The Shuwaikh RO Project involves the construction of a sea water desalination plant in the Kingdom of Kuwait. It is the first desalination plant in Kuwait to use reverse osmosis (RO) technology for seawater treatment. The plant is located near Shuwaikh Port, Kuwait.

Shuwaikh already has a water treatment plant of six million gallons a day capacity. It was built in 1954 along with a power plant.

The existing plant consists of three boilers and three desalination units including recarbonation, demineralisation and water intake facilities. The plant uses multistage flashing technology.

The new plant uses reverse osmosis with recarbonation system to treat sea water into potable water. It was completed by 2010 and is being operated by Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction. The operations and maintenance contract ends in 2013.

Purpose of the Shuwaikh reverse osmosis project

The new sea water reverse osmosis (SWRO) plant was proposed by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) as part of the Ministry's measures to ensure a sustained supply of potable water for the communities living in Kuwait. Sustainable supply of water has been a growing concern for the country.

Capacity of the new sea water reverse osmosis plant

The Shuwaikh SWRO plant has a UF permeate capacity of 350MLD. With an RO installed capacity of 136,000m3/day (36 million US gallons a day), the plant supplies drinking water to about 450,000 people residing in the city of Kuwait.

Technology incorporated into Kuwait's SWRO complex

The membrane technology for the plant was provided by X-Flow, part of the Pentair Group. Doosan placed an order with Pentair X-Flow in 2008 for the supply of Pentair Seaguard Ultra Filtration (UF) membranes and Pentair Seaguard skids for the plant.

Energy Recovery Incorporated (ERI), a US-based company, supplied PX Pressure Exchanger technology for the plant. The technology reduces the power consumption of the plant. ERI supplied 187 PX-260 energy recovery devices, which save 12.7MW of power in total.

Key players and contractors involved in the Shuwaikh RO desalination project

"The Shuwaikh RO Project involves the construction of a sea water desalination plant in the Kingdom of Kuwait."

The engineering, procurement and construction contract (EPC) of the plant was awarded to Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction. It won the project bid for KWD88m (approximately $320m) in March 2008. It was the second largest RO plant undertaken by Doosan at that time.

The basic and detailed design engineering services for the project were provided by Doosan Hydro Technology, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Doosan.

The tendering process to award the EPC contract was initiated in 2006. Doosan was the only bidder for the project when the tender was filed in September 2006.

The project had to be retendered as the Kuwaiti law required at least two bidders to award a tender. Doosan won the project against Metito during the retender process.

Doosan appointed Bronzia Projects General Trading & Contracting for the erection works involved in the project. The scope of work included erection of transformers, busducts, MV/LV switchgears, cable laying and termination, instrumentation, plumbing works and mechanical equipment.

It also included erection of structural steel and piping. The project involved more than 5,000 metric tons of mechanical erection. More than 50,000 inch diameter of welding was required. More than 1,230 metric tons of piping was erected.

"It is the first desalination plant in Kuwait to use reverse osmosis (RO) technology for seawater treatment."

Doosan awarded a subcontract to First Kuwaiti General Trading and Contracting in 2008 for the construction of a few elements of the plant. First Kuwaiti completed the contractual works by 2010.

Technocraft General Trading & Contracting was subcontracted by Doosan to install and align the mechanical equipment. The scope of work also included fit up, welding, supporting and testing of stainless steel piping for the recarbonation system.

Technocraft installed and aligned more than 5,000 metric tons of mechanical equipments as part of the contract.

ABSFIL supplied two RO membrane test systems of 44m3/day capacity each for the desalination plant. DKC supplied butterfly valves and control valves for the plant.

Cumberland Cathodic Protection, a subsidiary of Al-Dorra Petroleum Services, supplied the impressed current cathodic protection (ICCP) system for steel tubular piles of the seawater intake jetty for First Kuwaiti.

Toray Industries was awarded the contract to supply the RO membranes for the plant in September 2008. GJ System was contracted to supply a liquid analyser system for the plant.