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Utico to extract industrial chemicals from brine waste in Ras Al Khaimah

The project will come up in Ras Al Khaimah over an area of 20,000 sqm. (Image source: Utico)

UAE-based private utility provider Utico and Chinese firm Shandong Tianyi Chemical Corporation will collaborate to extract industrial chemicals from brine, a first of its kind in the GCC in recycling waste seawater from desalination plants

In a statement at the Water, Energy, Technology, and Environment (WETEX) and Dubai Solar Show (DSS) exhibition, Utico said that the zero-breakthrough project will come up in Ras Al Khaimah over an area of 20,000 sqm at an estimated investment of US$43mn (AED 160 million). The joint venture project will be developed adjacent to Utico premises.

The joint venture company will extract bromine and deeply processed hydrobromic acid from discarded concentrated seawater waste from Utico’s desalination plants to produce final products of calcium bromide and sodium bromide, which is in high demand for industrial uses in both local and export markets. The end products from the bromine extraction from brine is in demand for industries such as oil & gas, pharmaceuticals and are used in flame retardants, detergent, refrigeration etc.

The project also has a significant social and political importance since it is part of the channel investments under the UAE-China bilateral cooperation in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

“This is a pioneering project in the region’s renewable energy industry paving the way for innovation in converting brine waste from desalination plants. The project is of particular significance in the GCC, a region which is estimated to contribute a lion’s share of the world’s brine affecting the land and marine ecology adversely.  We are also proud to be announcing the project during a period of reinforced interest in sustainability and decarbonisation with the UAE holding the UN climate conference, COP 28,” said Hussain Al Lawati, group CEO of Utico.

“The project will help conserve marine ecology since even after the extraction of minerals the composition of the water will not change, and there will be no harm to marine life in case of discharging it back to the ocean,” said Li MaoAn, chairman of Shandong Tianyi Chemical Corporation.

“We have been consistently reducing our carbon footprint over the years by 6% annually, and cumulatively we have cut down greenhouse gas emissions by over 40% in the last five years. We are aligned to the strategic national Net Zero by 2050 goal of the UAE,” Al Lawati said.