The MARAFIQ desalination plant in Saudi Arabia has made use of 10,000 tons of duplex steel to build the evaporator chambers. They will be used in its ground-breaking low energy consumption desalination plant.
The Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia is seeing fast industrialization and an increasing population numbers and faces a growing need for fresh water.
As part of the plan, Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies, through its thermal-desalination specialist SIDEM (Veolia WST-Sidem), was chosen to design and build one of the world’s largest desalination plants for the MARAFIQ power and water utility company. When complete, the plant will provide 800,000 cubic meters of desalted water per day.
SIDEM is the world leader in Multiple Effect Distillation (MED). The process utilizes steam from the adjacent power plant to evaporate seawater at low temperatures.
The desalination process is usually uses a high amount of energy. In contrast the benefit of the MED process is that it has low energy consumption. The MED technology forms the core of the MARAFIQ plant.
The evaporator chambers will be built using stainless duplex steel plate from Outokumpu. Stainless duplex steel has emerged as optimal materials for desalination owing to their high strength, combined varying degrees of high corrosion resistance.
Because of these properties, duplex evaporators can be built with thinner plates, requiring less material and less welding compared to other materials.
After pioneering the idea of solid duplex steel evaporators, Outokumpu then developed the concept of DualDuplex evaporators. This is where two different grades of duplex steel are used; one highly corrosion-resistant grade in sections exposed to the most hostile conditions and a milder grade in sections exposed to less hostile conditions.
SIDEM and Outokumpu first partnered in 2006, to build the Al Hidd desalination plant in Bahrain using the DualDuplex concept and duplex steel grades 2304 and 2205. The two companies now continue the cooperation in the MARAFIQ project based on the same concept and grades of duplex steel.