Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC), and Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (Qeeri), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), have signed a 20-year research collaboration agreement to address the country’s water security grand challenge as mentioned in the Qatar National Vision 2030 mandate.
The agreement, signed by QEWC general manager and managing director Fahad Hamad al-Mohannadi, and Qeeri executive director Dr Marc Vermeersch, will enable QEWC to leverage its scientific and technical expertise, and will see the construction of a pilot plant for desalination technology development (thermal and membrane). 
This will be launched with a specific focus on advanced multi-effect distillation (MED) technology for seawater desalination. The MED pilot plant will enable the development of a new concept that would reduce energy consumption and improve energy efficiency of MED technology.
Speaking on the importance of the agreement, Dr Vermeersch said, “Our collaboration with national partners like QEWC marks a new milestone, and we are keen on using the technical expertise of our scientists to develop desalination technologies and to provide concrete research data to QEWC. This is just the first step in this partnership. Qeeri looks forward to working closely with QEWC across various aspects, aiming to achieve our common shared goal of helping Qatar tackle its water security grand challenge.”
“Desalination is essential for Qatar to meet its water needs, and QEWC and Qeeri are both committed to finding better solutions and methods to enhance this process. Our partnership with Qeeri will assist Qatar in achieving its water sustainability goals in line with Qatar National Vision 2030. We are looking forward to developing a robust partnership with the institute and forging ahead to achieve our intended goals,” al-Mohannadi added. 
The first phase of this research collaboration programme aims to install advanced MED pilot plant for testing the novel design. In the second phase, thermally enhanced polymer tubes to mitigate the corrosion and scale fouling experienced on the existing metallic tubes of MED technology will be investigated. The third phase aims to investigate the performance of high temperature anti-scalants to increase the production of existing thermal desalination technology. The pilot testing programme would be extended to include solar desalination with membrane technology.
Qeeri has a national mandate to address Qatar’s ongoing and impending challenges pertaining to water, environment, and energy. The institute operates four centers focusing on energy, water, environment and sustainability, and computational materials and chemistry.