Worley, a leading global engineering company a Chairman’s Circle member of the U.S.-Saudi Business Council (USSBC), and a member of the USSBC’s Board, is dedicated to providing innovative solutions to complex engineering and construction challenges, ensuring the sustainable development of communities and industries worldwide. Eissa Aqeeli, Worley’s Senior Vice President and Location Director – Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, recently spoke with the Council to discuss the company’s work with NEOM on developing desalination facilities, its role in supporting the rapidly expanding Saudi mining sector, and its response to the global energy transition and digital revolution.
Worley is widely recognized for its strong foundation of successful global partnerships. What are some of Worley’s most notable projects in the Kingdom and what are Worley’s priorities for Saudi Arabia?
Worley has a significant presence and a long legacy of delivering projects for various customers in Saudi Arabia, particularly Saudi Aramco and Ma’aden. Currently, Worley is supporting our customers with the implementation of their Vision 2030 Projects, such as with Saudi Aramco for the expansion of their natural gas network and their journey to net-zero, the upcoming investment in the petrochemical space, the expansions of Ma’aden in the mining sector, as well as NEOM’s upcoming sustainability projects including innovative water desalination projects.
Worley was recently chosen to work with NEOM (and its utility subsidiary ENOWA) to develop its desalination facilities – can you discuss the role Worley will play in NEOM’s development and the development of the desalination industry as a whole?
Worley has commenced work to provide engineering and advisory services to ENOWA for the water supply infrastructure that will deliver up to 2 million cubic meters of desalinated water a day to NEOM in northwest Saudi Arabia. The project scope relates to water production (desalination), brine beneficiation, management, and storage. The facilities will be powered by low-carbon electricity and is a first-of-its-kind seawater desalination project, consistent with our purpose of delivering a more sustainable world.
Accessing clean and fresh water is a challenge in many parts of the world. The demand for this most basic human need continues to increase faster than supply, which is partly driven by growing industrial usage. Desalination is key for all our markets, and we have multiple offerings to meet our customers’ and market needs, from consulting to engineering and project delivery, management to operations, and maintenance services.
What role will the rapidly expanding Saudi mining sector play in the global movement towards net-zero emissions, and what is Worley’s role in this sector?
Worley will continue to be in the forefront of the Saudi Arabian mining, minerals, and metals space. The world is rapidly embracing decarbonization and committing to net-zero targets. Our global team is committed to helping our mining customers get one step closer to solving our planet’s complex challenges. We navigate the journey together to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and keep pace with digital transformation. As a future-focused business, we join our partners to solve energy transition challenges. We are committed to helping our customers navigate the changing environment and enable the development of a reliable and sustainable mining industry.
To date, we’ve completed more than 3,800+ energy transition projects across the world. We have the scale, experience, and capability to deliver projects safely and efficiently across the entire mining life cycle.
For the Saudi Arabian mining sector, we enable significant growth embedding sustainability in design of mining and processing plants as part of the industry commitment to net-zero committed by the Saudi Arabian government.
How is Worley adapting to the changes and disruptions caused by the global energy transition and the digital revolution in the energy, chemicals, and resources sectors?
Worley has been on the leading edge of the global energy transition, executing projects from carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS), blue and green hydrogen and ammonia, low carbon fuels, waste-to-chemicals, waste-to-energy, battery technologies, as well as the acceleration of alternative and traditional energy projects. Worley has been able to adapt quickly to the needs of the market and has been successful in deploying digital solutions which not only improve the integrity of the final design, but also help to gather, store, and process data to increase efficiency, replicate typical designs, and accelerate projects. The next step in the digital transformation will be to expand its reach across the greater supply chain, so as to enable all project stakeholders to operate within a common digital environment platform.
How is Worley integrating sustainability solutions across the markets it serves? What is the significance of this position to your company?
Worley has pledged to lead in the realm of Sustainability, not only by participating in environmentally driven projects, but also to help traditional industries make the necessary transition to cleaner and more sustainable operation. Worley is supporting customers across the world to implement environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions with a forward look at the markets and conditions of tomorrow.
Together with Princeton University, we have published a series of papers which examine the delivery challenge of achieving mid-century net zero. Bringing together Worley’s decades of practical experience delivery complex industrial infrastructure with Princeton’s detailed analysis of what is required in a range of economies, we identify 5 key shifts in thinking that will be required to accelerate the pace and scale of transformation required, including consideration of how to accelerate development of supply chains. This has been well received in the global community and we have widely shared our co-authored “From Ambition to Reality” series.
What strategic initiatives is Worley investing in to support its global growth? What are some of the markets that you have prioritized to advance these initiatives?
Worley is pursuing and investing in carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS), blue and green hydrogen and ammonia, low carbon fuels, waste-to-chemicals, waste-to-energy, battery technologies, as well as the acceleration of alternative and traditional energy projects. Worley is also investing in the development of water related projects, such as desalination, waste water treatment, and water purification, both for industrial and commercial use.
What other technologies and innovations is Worley integrating into its businesses and projects?
At Worley, we have a number of proven technologies and innovations that are ready to be deployed for our customers across projects. We invest in applications – from gas treating and sulphur technologies, sulphuric acid, waste heat to power technologies to artificial intelligence platforms – that drive revenue, decrease costs, and create better insights. We build and scale new technologies that have the potential to transform the way we work today and into the future.
We also have a Technology Solutions division who constantly investigates upcoming technology advances to make sure Worley maintains a competitive edge.
Worley has been helping its customers migrate to a digital environment, employing project and operations solutions that integrate project and asset data to deliver a phased digital approach that delivers value through a pragmatic, fit-for-purpose approach from digital transformation and reducing implementation and operational risks.
- Digital Twin: enabling optimized operations and integrated working.
- Integrated Activity Planning: providing improved delivery culture and empowerment.
- Connected Worker: increasing worker productivity at site.
- Materials & Procurement Digital Solutions: to streamline complex procurement processing.
- Change Management: to manage the transition to new technologies and business processes.
- Internet of Things (IoT): to deliver transparent data improving operational efficiency and production efficiency.
- Future Innovation Program: to continuously evaluate new and emerging technologies.