Qatar and Sweden are planning to set up a green water desalination project that would use only solar and wind energy to treat water and reduce 4,50,000 tons of carbon emission per year. Both countries have agreed to “start technical workshops in near future” on this eco-friendly project that is planned to come up in the north of Qatar.

“Sweden and Qatar are negotiating on a water producing project that will be setup in the north of Qatar and it will use only wind and solar energy to desalinate sea water. My meeting with Minister of Energy and Industry H E Mohammed Saleh Al Sada has been very productive on this subject,” said Oscar Stenström, Swedish Vice Minister of Trade yesterday while talking to media. The minister said that the proposed water plant would use 200 megawatt power from wind and 200 megawatt from solar panels. “The cost of water desalination will be as low as $1 per cubic meter.

There is a common understanding between the two sides on the project and the technical workshops will be soon held in Qatar to fine tune some technical aspects related to execution of solar power generation of the project as Qatar’s climate is rough with high temperature, sand, dust.” Stenström said that the project would also address water scarcity issue and promote green growth, sustainable farming and would bring food security for Qatar.

To a question about the estimated cost of the project, he said that it was “too early” to give an estimate but it might be below $2b. He said that Swedish companies had successfully employed same techniques in Algeria, Morocco and South Africa. “A small scale project is already running here in Qatar in Al Ruwais.”

Stenström said that from Swedish side, Monsson Energy AB and Sweco AB would be the key stakeholders in the proposed project while Kahraama and Qatar Electricity and Water Company would be involved from Qatar’s side. He said that Swedish government had chosen Qatar as priority market for export and engagement. “We have a list of 26 priority countries including Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar from the Gulf region.

Middle East and Asia have a major role in Swedish export strategy as these are the areas where growth will happen.” The Swedish minister said that Sweden wanted to expand trade relations with Qatar. “Due to low oil prices, trade figures declined in last few years. Sweden exported goods worth QR500m to Qatar in 2016. Now along trade of goods, we will also increase trade of services between the two countries.” The minister said that a Swedish health delegation would visit Qatar in October this year to foster bilateral cooperation in areas of dementia, cancer and diabetes. “My meeting with Minister of Public Health H E Dr. Hanan Mohammed Al Kuwari was very useful.

A Swedish company Global Pharma will work as an umbrella organization to expand existing cooperation in health sector,” he said, adding that Sweden had invested heavily in life sciences. Sharing details of his meeting with Qatar Investment Authority CEO, Sheikh Abdulla bin Mohammed bin Saud Al-Thani, he said that that Sweden had presented five areas in which Qatari companies could invest including sustainable transportation, housing, bio-economy, life sciences, IT and smart manufacturing. “In these five areas we are seeking cooperation of investors from Qatar.

I have received a great response from Al Thani.” Stenström said that during his visit to Qatar to attend Doha Forum he had also discussed smart Qatar with Reem Al-Mansoori, the Assistant Undersecretary for Digital Society Sector Development at the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

“We talked ways of cooperation on upgradation of ports and harbors’ infrastructure.” Responding to a question on current volume of Qatari investment in Sweden, he said it was too little. “There is a tremendous scope for investments in small and medium sized startups which are providing new solutions and new services.” Praising Qatar’s ambitions on sustainability, he said that he had paid a field visit to Msheireb.

“Swedish companies are interested to invest in areas like waste to energy. A waste management company is already part of the project. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability are two areas which have brought two countries closer to each other.”

Stenström said that Sweden was using just 1 percent of waste for land fill while the rest of 99 percent was either being recycled or used to generate energy. “We use it for district heating, Qatar can use it for district cooling,” he suggested. The minister said that both sides were engaged in finalizing date of visit….