ITOCHU Announces Start of Commercial Operation of Oman’s Largest Seawater Desalination Plant in Barka

October 31, 2018

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Yoshihisa Suzuki, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced that Barka Desalination Company (hereinafter “the Project Company”), in which ITOCHU has a stake as its largest shareholder, had put into commercial operation the Barka Seawater Desalination Plant recently built in Oman.

This project is a public-private collaborative Build-Own-Operate (BOO) project implemented in the Barka district in the northern part of Oman by the Oman Power and Water Procurement Company under the Omani government. A BOO project refers to a project in which all processes from construction to operation are commissioned to a single entity. It is the country’s largest seawater desalination project with a capacity of 281,000 m3 per day. The produced water is supplied as daily life water via the Omani governmental authorities to the capital city Muscat and its surrounding area for the next 20 years in accordance with the water sales contract concluded on March 2, 2016.

This plant desalinates seawater with the use of reverse osmosis membranes. It is characterized in that it is fully equipped with pre-treatment processes including dissolved air flotation (DAF) and that it is designed to constantly supply water processed even from seawater with quality deteriorated by algae bloom or other phenomena resulting from climate change and other factors. In addition to ITOCHU as the largest shareholder, France-based Suez and ENGIE, formerly known as GDF Suez, and Oman-based W.J. Towell & Co. have stakes in the Project Company, which operates the project.

The Gulf countries face the issue of drinking water shortages amid mounting demand for water after recent growth in the population and urbanization. In Oman, water demand is expected to surge at an approximate annual rate of 6% in the future. This project is playing a significant role in the stable supply of water to the country.

ITOCHU sees the water business as a promising business area in light of soaring water demand associated with rapid worldwide population growth, economic development, global warming etc. As such, it has been proactively expanding its activities into seawater desalination, water and sewage utilities, and other water businesses. We are keen to further promote projects that contribute to the effective use of water resources in the Middle East and other regions worldwide, as well as environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments.

Barka Seawater Desalination Plant