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  • Ahmed Saleh

KACST and ACWA Power sign pact for Clean Energy, Desalination Center

Riyadh, January 28, 2024, The King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and ACWA Power Company have officially signed an agreement to establish a joint "Clean Energy and Water Desalination Technologies Development Center," as announced in a press release from KACST.

The agreement, signed by KACST Vice President for the Energy and Industry Sector Dr. Saeed Al-Shehri and Executive Vice President of Innovation and New Technology Sector at ACWA Power Thomas Altmann, outlines the collaborative efforts of the two entities. The signing ceremony was attended by KACST President Dr. Munir bin Mahmoud Al-Desouki, ACWA Power Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors Mohammad Abunayyan, and Senior Vice President for the Research and Development Sector of KACST Dr. Talal Al-Sudairi.

The newly established center is poised to engage in studies and scientific research, focusing on technical development in critical areas within the clean energy and water sector. This includes advancements in solar energy technologies, energy storage technologies to support future energy networks, and innovative technologies and materials for desalination membranes with the aim of reducing costs and emissions associated with desalination processes.

To enhance research capabilities, the center will leverage artificial intelligence and advanced digital technologies, streamlining the research process and facilitating the achievement of set goals.

Furthermore, the joint center has broader objectives, such as increasing ACWA Power's contribution to national laboratories and innovation hubs, fostering a culture of cooperation and innovation in the academic and business sectors, and transferring innovative water desalination technology to various industrial areas.

Dr. Saeed emphasized that this collaboration with ACWA Power aligns with KACST's efforts to connect technical products with the needs of both public and private sector entities. The goal is to achieve national aspirations in research, development, and innovation by utilizing KACST's laboratories, scientists, incubator programs, and technology accelerators to develop environmentally friendly and sustainable technologies for water desalination and clean energy production. This contributes to realizing the optimal energy mix sought by the Kingdom.

Thomas Altmann expressed excitement about the collaboration, emphasizing that it aims to develop practical, market-ready solutions to address commercial needs with agility and innovation. The partnership aligns with the objectives of Vision 2030, contributing to the local research and innovation ecosystem. Through the joint efforts of both organizations, the collaboration will focus on optimizing programs by developing services, pilot plants, laboratories, and cutting-edge simulation and monitoring tools.

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