Fluor Corporation is to build a reverse osmosis (RO) manufacturing facility for the Dow Chemical Company in Saudi Arabia under a new engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract.

The new plant at Jubail Industrial City II in the Sadara Chemical Company complex is expected to create more than 100 jobs. It will be Dow's first facility of its kind built outside the United States.

The facility will locally manufacture high-tech RO elements that can purify water for drinking and industrial uses. A range of Dow RO products will be produced at the plant, including Dow FILMTEC brackish water RO elements and seawater RO elements.

Products made at the facility will be sold in the local Saudi Arabia market as well as the wider Middle East and Africa (MEA) region and markets with similar critical water needs, including Eastern Europe, India, China and South East Asia, the company said.

Saudi Arabia is a desert country and water is scarce. As a result, it is among the largest seawater desalination markets in the world.

Dow explained that its new facility will secure local supply of cutting-edge technologies for water desalination as well as a more cost-effective water treatment solution, because desalination via reverse osmosis is known to be less energy-intensive than traditional thermal methods.

RO elements can be used for demineralizing brackish water or desalinating seawater for various applications, including water treatment, power generation, food and beverage processing, municipal desalination and water reuse.

The new facility is scheduled for completion by the end of 2015.