First nanotechnology company launches in Saudi

It will manufacture nanomembranes used in desalination and pharmaceuticals.

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By  Joanna Hartley Published  March 30, 2009

The first company in Saudi Arabia to specialise in the manufacture of nanomembranes , used in the petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, desalination and agricultural industries, was launched on Monday.  
Opening the Saudi Nanotechnology Company, chairman Prince Bader Bin Saud said the firm would provide the Kingdom with a means of keeping pace with worldwide developments in nanothechnology, rather than it having to rely on foreign research.  

It had taken three years to set up, and would be run in partnership with global leaders in the field, investors and nanotechnology specialists, the Prince added, according to Saudi daily Saudi Gazette.
“The technique, which relies on the separation of materials into very small parts, can be of great benefit to industries, such as, desalination, water treatment, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical, and agro-industrial,” he said.

Desalination of water would be one of the most important areas of work for the company - especially as Saudi, which had been the first country in the world to master large-scale desalination, was seeing a rise in demand for water,  he pointed out.

“The Kingdom is first in the world in the production of desalinated seawater, and we must be the first in terms of the operational requirements associated with the use of nanotechnology in the water sector - especially since the current cost of production of desalinated water is very high and there is an increase in the volume of consumption.”

The company would also provide services in other scientific techniques that can be used in the fields of chemical and mechanical engineering, added Al-Sharifa Zahra Idrees Bin Ali, a company researcher and member of the scientific team.

The company’s headquarters will be located in Jeddah with several offices in different regions of the Kingdom.

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