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Mon 25 Jan 2010 08:25 AM

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Saudi launches project for solar power water plants

Initiative set to cut water, electricity production costs by 40 percent - official.

Saudi launches project for solar power water plants
SOLAR PLAN: A number of solar powered desalination plants will be built across Saudi. (Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia has launched a major solar power initiative that will cut the cost of water and electricity production by 40 percent.

A number desalination plants will be built across the kingdom, which use solar powered nanotechnology developed by the King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology (KACST), Arab News reported.

The project is part of wider plans to make Saudi a world leader and exporter of renewable energy, the paper said.

“Desalination is our strategic choice to supply adequate amount of drinking water to people across the kingdom,” Ibrahim Al-Assaf, Finance Minsiter, said at the project announcement on Sunday.

“We want to make the kingdom a major source of solar energy in the world.”

Prince Turki bin Saud bin Muhammad, vice president of KACST for research institutes, said the initiative would reduce the cost of water and electricity production by 40 percent, the paper reported.

The first solar-powered desalination plant, with capacity for 100,000 people, will be built in Al-Khafji.

Saudi Arabia supplies more than 18 percent of the world’s total desalinated water, according to the report.

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