For several months now, Saudi Arabia has been stating its commitment to environment and climate protection, and towards a stable ecological transition. The Saudi Green Initiative, officially announced in March 2021, was born out of the need to involve the kingdom and the region in this ecological challenge at the very heart of international issues, and is in line with the Vision 2030 plan, presented by Prince Mohammed Ben Salmane in April 2016. In order to achieve this ambitious but necessary project, the French multinational Veolia, a giant in water management and ecological transition, is putting its expertise at the service of the country with two projects, presented this weekend in Jeddah, on the sidelines of the presidential visit.
In addition to Veolia’s undeniable expertise – not to mention its monopoly – in areas such as water distribution and sewage treatment, waste management and energy, the company has in-depth knowledge of Saudi Arabia, where it has been operating for 35 years. The development of Veolia Middle East is accelerating, and as a result, the entire Kingdom is being revitalized, especially the region in and around the capital Riyadh. This is a favourable and fruitful collaboration for both partners, focused on sustainable development and building a better future together.
Drinking water and sanitation management in the capital Riyadh and its 21 municipalities
The first project, the “Central Cluster“, addresses the management of drinking water and sanitation for the city of Riyadh and its outlying municipalities. The issue of water management, a vital resource, is already at the heart of several initiatives in the Kingdom (protection of the oceans, Red Sea project, etc.). Through this water management and sanitation project in partnership with the National Water Company, Veolia is committed, over a period of 7 years, to supplying drinking water to nearly 9 million inhabitants, via a 30,000 km network. A real operational challenge this is, as Veolia is also committed to transporting 113 water production and treatment units over 10,000 km of network.
The French group will be assisted by Alkhorayef, a Saudi producer specialising in water pumps, agricultural equipment, irrigation and well drilling throughout the Kingdom, in order to reuse wastewater and reduce losses to a minimum. The deal is worth €82.6 million!
Strategic partnership with MISA – Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia- and WTTC
Also on the topic of water, a second partnership is planned between the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA) and data transmission and new technologies specialized government company, WTTCO (The Water Transmission & Technologies Company). This strategic collaboration is mainly based on the “Hubgrade“, a device by Veolia to improve the performance, intelligence and sustainability of water treatment processes: in fact, it is a control and hypervision centre aiming to accelerate operational performance required to simultaneously control the various stages of water treatment and manage the various infrastructures.
At the same time, solutions for operation, maintenance and all kinds of installations keep being developed: innovation and technology are at the heart of all the initiatives led by Saudi Arabia and France for a practical and optimal ecological transition.
First of all, it is necessary to acknowledge that the environmental impact of the industries mentioned above is significant: however, it is precisely among these industries that the greatest progress will be made, and it is essential to work towards greener and cleaner sites and factories!
Antoine Frérot, Chairman and CEO of Veolia stresses this aspect: “We are very happy to contribute to the ecological transformation of the Kingdom and to participate in the implementation of innovative, efficient and sustainable water services of the future“.
A long-term plan, aiming to shape a better future, this is the ambitious objective of this new collaboration !
French President Emmanuel Macron was present to state the importance of this partnership in accompanying Saudi Arabia towards a necessary ecological transition for the 20 millions or so inhabitants who will live in the country by 2030, including a youth more and more committed and demanding regarding ecological challenges awaiting them.