Saudi Arabia’s SWCC selects DuPont to accelerate desalination improvements, privatization

BE2C2 Report by Irshad Salim — Saudi Arabia’s Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) has announced that it is working with DuPont Sustainable Solutions (DSS), to enhance the operational excellence and risk management processes of its desalination facilities.

The SWCC, which supplies 70% of the desalinated water in the Kingdom, says the move will ensure that a sustainable water supply is maintained in the country.

The SWCC is keen to privatize its operations in line with Saudi Vision 2030’s strategic objectives, and says its executive board decided to invest in the transformation, in line with the company’s privatization goals.

Last month, Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, the deputy minister for economy and planning, said SWCC was one of the four “low-hanging fruit” that could potentially be privatized this year. Other three include a power-generation company under Saudi Electricity Co., grain silos and sports clubs. Al-Tuwaijri also mapped out the near-term schedule for privatization, with 16 entities “prime for privatization.”

Following an interview with Reuters in April, when he came up with a staggering $200 billion estimate of the value of the government’s privatization program — excluding the value of the planned Saudi Aramco initial public offering (IPO) — he spoke to Bloomberg to hammer home the message that the strategy is gathering momentum.

“Every activity taking place at SWCC now is to prepare for the privatization of the company. We want to create an environment that will allow SWCC to compete internationally so that ultimately, we have a sustainable business that the people of SWCC and Saudi Arabia can benefit from,” said His Excellency Ali Al-Hazmi, governor of SWCC.

“DuPont’s experience in implementing operational improvement initiatives at their own facilities, and in the Kingdom, is an integral part of our improvement process,” Al-Hazmi added.

The SWCC said it has always strived for operational excellence, and adds that working with DSS will enable it to produce water in a more cost-effective way.

DSS and its partners will begin the upgrade process at some of SWCC’s biggest facilities – plants, transmission lines and headquarters.

“Each partner will bring a unique set of best practices to ensure SWCC gets support from the world’s leaders in their respective fields: Emerson to bring experience in automation and reliability, Riventa to provide expertise in water transmission and pumps, and GrahamTek with best practices in core desalination processes and technology,” said  Johan van der Westhuyzen, regional director for DSS – Turkey, Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Abdullah al-Zowaid, deputy governor, Operations at SWCC added, “This operational transformation project will aim at strengthening our practices in risk management and operational excellence. The initiatives selected will focus on developing leadership capabilities, maximizing productivity, reliability and cost optimization.”

SWCC also aims to become global player in desalination drawing its strength from Vision 2030 strategic goals and collaborating with DSS and its partners is expected to enable, facilitate the process.

DuPont Sustainable Solutions is one of eight businesses under the DuPont umbrella. The subsidiary specializes in operations management consulting services, which are designed to help organizations transform and optimize their processes, technologies and capabilities. DSS has operated in the Middle East for over 15-years.

BE2C2 is a business unit of Irshad Salim Associates  which produces reports, infographics, analytics and analyses based on data and information from sources readily available on the web and in the public domain.

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