Veolia inks citric acid plant deal with Saudi Bio-Acids Company

The Saudi arm of Veolia subsidiary, Veolia Water Technologies, will design and build new wastewater treatment plants for a new citric acid production facility in Jeddah

Dr Badr Ghawji, managing director for Veolia Water Technologies Saudi Arabia, and Eng Yassir O.Al Sebaei, managing director for Saudi Bio-acids Company.
Dr Badr Ghawji, managing director for Veolia Water Technologies Saudi Arabia, and Eng Yassir O.Al Sebaei, managing director for Saudi Bio-acids Company.

The Saudi arm of Veolia Water Technologies has inked a deal with Saudi Bio-Acids Company to design and build wastewater treatment plants for the Middle East’s first citric acid production facility in Jeddah.

Under the deal, the plants will integrate several of Veolia’s technologies as the facility targets a production output of 72,574t of critic acid anhydrous, critic acid monohydrate, and tri-sodium citrate within three years of becoming operational.

Saudi Bio-Acids Company said the new plant will be the region’s first citric acid production facility as a result of the move.

Citric acid is used in many industries that range from food and beverage (F&B) to pharmaceuticals and personal care. Currently, most of the demand for citric acid across the region is met with overseas imports.

READ: Dubai commissions Veolia for Jebel Ali waste treatment plant

“With this plant, Saudi Arabia will start producing this important component for the food industry directly in the kingdom,” Veolia said in a statement.

Due to the nature of the F&B industry, wastewater generated from processing operations contains high concentrations of biological oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand, and suspended solids.

With this in mind, the project features Veolia’s high-performing anaerobic reactor, the biothane advanced expanded granular sludge bed – an “extremely compact, high-performance anaerobic treatment process for industrial effluents”.

READ: Veolia to build water plants in Egypt amid resource 'scarcity'

Veolia said this innovation uses less energy and chemicals, occupies less space, and incurs lower sludge handling costs when compared to aerobic alternatives.

Speaking on the news, Badr Ghawji, managing director at Veolia Water Technologies in Saudi, said: “Veolia’s knowledge of local discharge limits has benefitted our clients, whom have had to mitigate wastewater challenges in an increasingly environmentally conscious market.

“Our suite of water and wastewater solutions offers maximum technical advantages for our clients, and we look forward to recommending our anaerobic technologies to more F&B manufacturers operating in this region.”

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