Bauer is currently the only company worldwide that closes within its service portfolio the entire water cycle as we are capable of locating, extracting, treating, and delivering water to whoever needs it. We are in remediation and treatment of polluted water, mainly industrial wastewater, with a focus on the oil and gas industry. However, in the future we will also focus on the manufacturing and mining industry with their waste and wastewater. We are focused on the country's biggest client, PDO, which entrusted us in 2009 with a 20-year design BOT project to treat 45,000cbm per day of produced water in the oil field in Nimr. This plant has been extended several times and at the moment we treat 115,000cbm of polluted water every day. There is water reuse here for minor things such as washing cars, irrigation of green areas, and others. Industrial wastewater effluent can be reused for certain purposes such as irrigation. However, we are in a different cultural and religious environment and must be aware of that.
Managing Director, Bauer Nimr
Zahir Bin Kahlid Al-Sulaimani
Chairman, Oman Water Society (OWS)
The Sultan started talking about water from his first day in 1970. At every occasion he mentions water, for example, in the context of agriculture, drinking water, and the discovery of major new aquifers. Now in Oman, we also have desalination and treatment plants for water. Whenever there is a shortage of water, we turn to desalination and use treated water. There are four new desalination plants under construction in Barka, Sohar, Sur, and Salalah. Three more are coming up in 2017-2018 in Musandam, Sharqiyah, and Duqm. Some of them will be combined with electricity plants while others will just be for desalination. In terms of sewage treatment plants, all this work has been shifted from the Ministry of Regional Municipalities to Haya Sewage Treatment Company, a national company. Haya will operate and maintain all sewage treatment plants in the country and will upgrade some. There will also be numerous megaprojects involving wastewater treatment coming up.
Managing Director, Muscat Projects & Environmental Services (MPES)
As far as wastewater is concerned, it is a utility business. There are various aspects to this. One is the treatment of that waste. Number two would be the recycling of that waste, so there are a number of processes where we first treat and then recycle. For example, most countries are going for a zero discharge concept, meaning that not a single drop of water should be wasted, and this is also the main concept in Oman. For that, the government in Oman has invested in agencies like Haya. Haya has plants that first organize wasteful treatment and then utilize this treated water for irrigation, washing, flushing, and more. Once the water is treated, there are two primary outputs; one is solid sludge and the other is treated water. As the population grows, the percentage of waste also increases; therefore, this is an industry that is continuously growing—like electricity, water, and food, as the population grows, so too does industry. The environment is a key issue today, and the government is spending a great deal to raise awareness, bring in modern technology, and improve the efficiency of plants.
Ciarán Ó Cuinn
Center Director, Middle East Desalination Research Center (MEDRC)
Water is one of the most important strategic areas for the future of the country, and desalination is a technology, similar to air-conditioning, that this region cannot exist without. The mission of MEDRC is to find solutions to fresh water scarcity. Our focus is thus on environmentally sustainable desalination and ways of providing increased water supplies to the country and region. In the long term, it just is not viable to burn massive amounts of fossil fuels to desalinate water. Desalination is incredibly expensive and uses a huge amount of energy. We need to find different ways to do it; we have done research on minimizing the energy requirement, and supporting solar-, wind-, and even nuclear-powered desalination. We have researched large-scale plants right down to small-scale plants used by farmers. We work with all the major plants, not just in Oman, but also in the GCC. We hold many training programs on how to take the environment right into the center of the process and minimize the energy requirement, the carbon footprint, and the environmental impact of all this work.