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UAE’s Silal partners with Dutch group for clean desalination technology

The project aims to produce pure water for irrigation with a zero-carbon footprint to decarbonize food production

UAE’s Silal partners with Dutch group for clean desalination technology
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

In the Middle East, desalination technology has been addressing the region’s water woes for a long time. But the problem is that desalination uses a lot of electricity. Now, as the price of solar panels continues to fall each year, the investment for building solar-plus-desalination plants looks bright.

Recently, Silal, Abu Dhabi’s leading food, agriculture, and technology company, has partnered with Desolenator, a solar thermal desalination company headquartered in the Netherlands, to launch a pilot project using solar-powered desalination technology to produce fresh water for irrigation and provide a sustainable cooling option for greenhouses.

The project aims to decarbonize food production in arid climates by lowering the carbon footprint of the desalination process. The project will have no environmental harm, unlike other such processes. 

“The project aims to demonstrate how innovative partnerships can address the water-food-energy nexus and model sustainable agriculture for countries worldwide. It also marks a paradigm shift in handling the vital water-food-energy nexus and is a testament to the power of collaborative innovation in advancing global sustainable development goals,” read the press release by Silal. 

A $27.23 million research and development fund launched by ADQ in 2022 will support the project financially. The fund forms part of Growth Lab, a community of innovators across ADQ’s portfolio. Growth Lab focuses on accelerating innovation, research, and development to unlock growth opportunities and drive value creation and sustainability across priority sectors of the UAE’s economy.

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