AES Arabia offers innovative solutions

Asad KhanAES offers solutions through systems as well as specialty chemicals covering industries ranging from industrial, oil and gas/petrochemicals as well as power

Services offered by the company also include water and wastewater treatment and process equipment such as chemical injection skids.

According to the company's business development manager, Asad Iqbal Khan, "In the Middle East, water resources are considered to be scarce and expensive. Alternative water sources such as waste water can provide an economical, ecologically-friendly option towards water sustainability.

"In addition, the ever-evolving and maturing environmental discharge standards and regulations have driven the use of technologies and solutions to keep producers competitive," he said.

AES is therefore continually devising new and innovative strategies to cope with these challenges and take advantage of the increasing demand for alternative water sources.


As an example, AES was able to complete the design, manufacture and installation of a 24,000-cubic

metre (cu m) desalination plant for Zubair Petrochemicals in Iraq, in spite of security concerns.

Active in the regional markets since 1985, AES Arabia is one of the region's most experienced water and wastewater solutions providers. The company, which started life in the US and has its headquarters in Riyadh, continues to build upon it's near 25-year experience and is looking to further increase its activity in the region.

AES also has branch offices in Al Khobar and Jeddah and has a team of 400 professionals in the company's design and execution office devoted solely to the oil and gas and petrochemicals sectors.

AES is approved by most of the oil and gas and energy companies such as Saudi Aramco, PDO,

ADNOC, TOTAL, EXXON, SEC, SABIC and all. "Gaining approval is not easy, and approvals for the design and manufacture of our supplies are rare, so it is a real achievement for us," said Khan.

"Saudi Aramco approval underlines the high standards of quality control we maintain, and is of great consequence for us because nearly all of the projects we carry out have requirement international standards."

Khan emphasised that AES has enjoyed continued growth within Saudi Arabia, such as winning the

contract to design and construct a seawater reverse osmosis plant at the King Abdullah University of Science & TechnologyResearchPark under Saudi Aramco's management, but also in other parts of the region, including Abu Dhabi, Oman, Iraq and Algeria. He added that other short-lived competitors in the water and wastewater treatment market create some market instability but AES are able to weather any such fluctuations due to its established reputation and vast experience.

"We were enjoying a semi-niche market status working in oil and gas sectors however there are companies getting entry and exit every year and trying to destabilise the market," said Khan. "It doesn't threaten us, but of course there is a temporary challenge because of the competitor's unawareness of the compliances and specifications."

AES Arabia Oil Review MEChallenges

Added pressure comes in the form of the increasing need to conserve, utilise and reuse as much water as possible.

"The scarcity of water has pushed the envelope for water engineering to the limits," said Khan.

In a region as dry as the Middle East, this poses the maximum challenge for engineers to keep coming up with innovative and effective solutions."

But with almost three decades of experience, AES is ideally placed to meet these challenges and to continue investing in R&D and developing innovative and groundbreaking water and wastewater solutions.

"That's why AES provides total water management for all waters used by, generated by, or emanating from, the petroleum and petrochemical industries," explained Khan. "No matter what the application or global location, we have the experience and expertise to resolve water issues."

AES has worked on many challenging projects, Khan added. "In the GCC where water is as rare as a diamond, a mile deep, and very salty, one of our clients wanted to produce 5,650 cu m per day irrigation and potable water from his 5,750 cu m per day limited well water source.

"Not only that, the client also wanted to recover all of the filter backwash water, floor drains, and spent regeneration chemicals so the discharge from the plant was put to an absolute minimum," the spokesperson added.

AES constructed a plant for the client which implemented a process of high pressure reverse osmosis (HPRO), with the chemical composition of the feed water allowing for 75 per cent recovery of the waste stream.

Further expansion

Two waste streams coming from the plant were sent to different locations, with the brine sent to an evaporation pond, while the lime slurry was sent to sludge drying beds. Decanted water from the lime slurry was then reclaimed back and put into the system for further recovery.

Khan explained, "Fine-tuning was done to reduce the lime slurry by up to 20 per cent through reducing the lime and adding caustic instead. Part of the slurry was recycled back to the inlet of the clarifiers providing seeds for precipitate particles to form on improving the solids capacity and minimising solids carryover."

The plant was successfully commissioned and put in service, meaning the client was able to yield 7,200 cu m/d from a total inlet of 7,950 cu m per day.

Looking ahead, the company is planning further expansion, focusing on research and development.

"As part of these plans we have taken steps to further invest in research and development within the company and implement the concepts we already have in the field of water and waste water," Khan added.

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