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LAS PALMAS: Richer enhancement and innovation in the desalination sector could help produce green hydrogen in the future as Saudi Arabia heads toward a sustainable future, according to Abdullah Al Abdulkarim, governor of Saline Water Conversion Corp.

In an exclusive interview with Arab News on the sidelines of Desalination for the Environment: Clean Water and Energy held in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Al Abdulkarim said that zero liquid discharge in the water industry could make a paradigm shift that could catalyze the journey toward a sustainable future. 

ZLD is a water treatment approach where all water is recovered, and the residue is reduced to solid waste.

ZLD to improve sustainability

“We are talking about zero liquid discharge from our industry. Hydrogen is a part of our focus. We have a chance to produce hydrogen with a richer enhancement in our process. We can go for green hydrogen if we utilize renewable energy for water production,” said Al Abdulkarim.

Talking about going sustainable in the water industry, he said, “We have to bring the business to our nation, we have to reduce the cost of water production, we have to save the environment and we have to inspire them for a new arena of water production.”

Al Abdulkarim revealed that SWCC’s operation is aligned with the goals outlined in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, and several targets were set on that mission, of which he said many had been achieved.

Miriam Balaban honored

During the event, Al Abdulkarim also honored Miriam Balaban, a publisher, editor and scientist recognized for her work in science communication and desalination.

Balaban, 97, who has been in the desalination field for 56 years told Arab News, “I was in Jubail, where there’s a big facility and research base now. There’s a wonderful teaching unit and everything in that very big plant. Saudis were the first to build a very big plant; they made this technology possible.

“I appreciate Saudi for the scientific research they have in the Kingdom, which has developed. They are also building the research which is looking ahead in development,” she added.