Hitachi and Hitachi Plant Technologies Initiate Joint Research with King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia on Water Quality Monitoring Technology for Seawater Desalination Facilities<6501.T>

Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:00am EST

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Performance demonstration and improvement of Hitachi's new monitoring technology
in Saudi Arabia
TOKYO--(Business Wire)--
On November 14, Hitachi Ltd. (TOKYO:6501)("Hitachi") and Hitachi Plant
Technologies, Ltd. ("Hitachi Plant Technologies") signed an agreement with the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's King Abdulaziz University (KAU) (President, Prof.
Osama S. Tayek) for joint research on water quality monitoring technology to be
used in seawater desalination facilities.
Joint research agreement signing ceremony (Seated: Professor Osama S. Tayek,
President of KAU (center), Dr. Koichi Tsuzuki, Vice President and Executive
Officer, Hitachi Plant Technologies (left), and Professor Adnan Hamza M. Zahed,
KAU Vice President for Postgraduate Studies and Scientific Research
(right))(Photo: Business Wire)

The joint research will focus on the demonstration and validation, evaluation,
and improvement of water quality monitoring technology developed at Hitachi's
Yokohama Research Laboratory (Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan) that will be used in
Hitachi Plant Technologies' seawater desalination plant. This work will be
conducted over a nearly two-year period in cooperation with KAU's Center of
Excellence in Desalination Technology (Executive Director Dr. Mohammed H.
Albeirutty; hereinafter "CEDT"), which is one of the most experienced
organizations in this field in Saudi Arabia, one of the world's most important
markets for seawater desalination plants. 

Seawater reverse osmosis plants based on reverse osmosis (RO) membranes are
widely used to obtain potable water and industrial water in regions such as the
Middle East, which have a serious shortage of water resource. An important task
in operating the Seawater reverse osmosis plants is preventing membrane fouling
caused by the foulants included in the seawater. An accurate assessment of
seawater properties based on its monitoring is essential for controlling fouling
and ensuring stable operation of the plants because the operating parameters
must be set in view of these properties. 

The water quality monitoring technology developed at Hitachi's Yokohama Research
Laboratory measures the very small amount of substances in seawater that cause
RO membrane fouling using the quartz crystal microbalance method (QCM method).
The QCM method measures the mass of minute quantities of substances adhering to
a quartz oscillator by detecting changes in the oscillator's natural frequency
induced by the mass increase. This approach has already been developed for film
thickness sensors used in semiconductor production equipment and other
applications. Hitachi and Hitachi Plant Technologies have studied the
relationship between RO membrane fouling and water quality monitoring data using
the QCM method with view to controlling operations for minimize fouling and
optimizing the cleaning and replacement intervals of RO membranes. Using actual
seawater from the Red Sea, the joint research with KAU's CEDT will demonstrate
the performance of this system and accelerate its commercialization. The Hitachi
Group plans to use the results of the joint research to expand business in
engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) of seawater desalinization
plants and their operation and management business. 

At the signing ceremony held on November 14 at KAU in Saudi Arabia, CEDT
Executive Manager Dr. Mohammed H. Albeirutty expressed his hopes for the
project, saying, "This project is an opportunity to blaze a new trail in
seawater desalinization plants by leveraging the advanced technology of Hitachi
and Hitachi Plant Technologies." Dr. Koichi Tsuzuki, Vice President and
Executive Officer of Hitachi Plant Technologies, echoed Dr. Albeirutty's
sentiment, saying, "It is our hope that Hitachi's technologies, not limited to
the fruits of this joint research project, will contribute to the further
development of Saudi Arabia." Hitachi and Hitachi Plant Technologies will
continue to hold discussions with KAU on expanding their areas of cooperation. 

In recent years, the Hitachi Group has strengthened its presence in Saudi
Arabia. In October 2009, Hitachi opened a branch in the Saudi capital of Riyadh
to serve as a base for its operations. Hitachi Plant Technologies became the
first Japanese company to sign a corporate procurement agreement (CPA) to supply
and service compressors for oil-and-gas plants with the Saudi Arabian Oil
Company (Saudi Aramco) in June 2011 and in June 2012, established Hitachi
Saihati Engineering Services Co., Ltd. to provide industrial equipment
maintenance services. In January 2013, Hitachi Plant Saudi Arabia Co., Ltd.
(provisional name) will be established as a joint venture with the El Seif Group
to provide social and industrial infrastructure construction and engineering
business. The Hitachi Group considers this joint research agreement with KAU as
an important milestone in building-up ties with Saudi Arabian research
organizations for providing solutions to regional needs through locally-led
initiatives research and development.

 Overview of KAU                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
 University name       King Abdulaziz University                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
 Location              Jeddah, Saudi Arabia                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 Established           1967                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 Representative        President: Prof. Osama S. Tayek                                                                                                                                                                                                            
 Overview              A national university comprised of the Faculty of Economics and Administration, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Pharmacy, Faculty of Environmental Designs, and other departments  
 Number of students    Approximately 82,000                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

About Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitachi, Ltd. (TOKYO: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global
electronics company with approximately 320,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2011
(ended March 31, 2012) consolidated revenues totaled 9,665 billion yen ($117.8
billion). Hitachi is focusing more than ever on the Social Innovation Business,
which includes information and telecommunication systems, power systems,
industrial, transportation and urban development systems, as well as the
sophisticated materials and key devices that support them. For more information
on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at 

Hitachi Plant Technologies, Ltd.

Hitachi Plant Technologies, Ltd. - Supporting Infrastructure with Environmental
and Energy-Saving Technologies - is a member of the Hitachi Group. Harnessing
its engineering capabilities, Monozukuri (manufacturing) skills and project
expertise, Hitachi Plant Technologies offers total solutions for social and
industrial infrastructures. The core businesses of our group mainly comprise
Social Infrastructure Systems (pumps, compressors and water treatment systems),
Industrial Systems (mechatronics, and chemical and pharmaceutical plants), Air
Conditioning Systems (industrial and building facilities) and Energy Systems
(nuclear and thermal power plants construction). For more information on Hitachi
Plant Technologies, please visit the company's website at

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:

Hitachi Plant Technologies, Ltd.
Kosumo Shiraishi, +81-3-5928-8100
Hitachi Plant Technologies, Ltd.
Toshihiko Horiuchi, +81-3-5928-8195

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