A solar and wind-powered desalination facility in the northern part of Qatar, a project proposed by the Swedish government, could help reduce the country’s carbon emissions by 550,000 tonnes per year (tpy), a high-ranking official has said.
With an estimated cost of less $2bn, the facility will utilise 200 megawatts of wind and 200MW of solar energy to desalinate seawater and to produce water at a cost of around $1 per cubic metre, Swedish vice minister of Trade and EU Affairs Oscar Stenstrom told a press conference in Doha on Monday.
Stenstrom pointed out that the facility has the capacity of producing 400,000 cubic metres of water per day. It will also produce electricity, utilising 50% of the energy for the production of water.
The Swedish minister discussed details of the project with HE the Minister of Energy and Industry Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada during a meeting on Monday, which was also attended by Kahramaa president Issa bin Hilal al-Kuwari and Qatar Electricity and Water Company general manager Fahd al-Mohannadi.
Aside from cutting carbon footprint, the project will also address water scarcity in Qatar, “the possibility of ‘green’ growth,” sustainable farming, and food security, as well as “the ability to produce water close to consumers,” Stenstrom said.
Stenstrom explained that the project “is still under discussion” but both governments “have reached a common understanding to look into the details” by conducting a technical workshop.” 
He said the workshop will be led by the Swedish embassy in Doha, together with partners Monsson Energy AB director Joanna Lilliequist, Sweco AB International Director of Energy Per-Olof Lögdahl, Sparkle Consulting managing director Håkan Rosengren, and ABB president Mena Mostafa al-Guezeri.
“The technical workshop will be held in Qatar in the coming months after Ramadan. The plan is to continue with the research conducted in Sweden and to merge it with the experience from the research conducted in Qatar on severe climate issues like extreme heat and dust to develop the project further through research co-operation,” Swedish ambassador Ewa Polano told Gulf Times.
Stenstrom’s visit to Qatar included meetings with the ministries of Public Health, Municipality and Environment, and Transport and Communications, including institutions like Qatar Investment Authority, as well as other major players in the private sector. He also participated in the Doha Forum 2017.
“Sweden has chosen Qatar as one of its priority markets for export and engagements.
Out of 26 countries, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE in the Gulf region are among the countries that play a significant role in Sweden’s export strategy because we believe that we need to pivot more to Asia and the Middle East as these are the areas where growth will happen,” Stenstrom stressed.