Digital twin underpins ACCIONA's KSA desalination plant work
Construction of the Al Khobar I desalination plant in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is now complete, according to ACCIONA, the Spanish global developer and manager of sustainable infrastructure solutions, with the plant producing water beyond its normal capacity from December 26.
In a statement, the company said the seawater desalination reverse osmosis (SWRO) plant is a key project in the modernisation program for the Kingdom’s water sector. The program is currently being carried out by Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) of Saudi Arabia.
The plant, one of the largest desalinsation plants in the country by capacity, will produce 210,000 cubic meters of drinking water per day, and supply the equivalent of 350,000 people.
The testing program and the commissioning of the plant was completed remotely, using digital twin technology.
By utilising the digital twin (an exact digital copy of the Al-Khobar 1 seawater reverse osmosis plant [SWRO]), a team of specialists in Madrid was able to start the tests and start the plant up remotely, reducing the number of personnel on site to a minimum.
“The technology allowed us to complete the commissioning of the plant on time, despite the restrictions on mobility imposed by the pandemic. The team in Madrid controlled the first stage of this process from the CECOA (ACCIONA’s Water Control Centre),” explains Ignacio Lobo Gutiérrez, ACCIONA project director, explains.
With a population of around 33.4 million, Saudi Arabia is the third biggest consumer of water per capita in the world, after the US and Canada. The country has implemented a series of measures to rationalise water consumption as part of its Vision 2030 program, with the aim of reducing consumption by 24 percent in 2021 and by up to 43 percent by the end of the decade.
According to ACCIONA’s latest Sustainability Report, total production of desalinated water in the Middle East region will be 13 times higher in 2040 than in 2014. In a region with serious water shortages, the demand for desalinated water is growing in response to climate change and an increasing population.
"We are very proud to have completed this project to schedule and to contribute to supplying drinking water in the country in a sustainable and innovative way. This milestone is the result of good teamwork between the client, technical assistance and the project team," said Gutiérrez.
XYZ Reality receives £20m to develop Assisted Reality
Founded in 2017, XYZ Reality aims to "revolutionise" the construction sector with its Engineering-Grade Augmented Reality (AR) solution, Holosite.
Designed to enable an on time and on budget delivery of construction projects, by eliminating building errors, HoloSite has been available to select customers through an early access programme and has already been used on projects totalling a value of over £1.5bn in the last year.
With approximately 98% of construction megaprojects facing cost overruns or delays and 7-11% of project costs being spent on correcting errors, XYZ Reality’s purpose-built integrated AR solution directly addresses these issues.
With its safety certified AR hardhat, cloud platform and in-built proprietary software, Holosite accurately positions high fidelity 3D design models on construction sites, enabling teams to build it right, first time. The technology system has been used on complex construction projects including data centres, pharmaceutical facilities and airports.
This funding will be used to accelerate the company’s ambition of transforming projects by preparing for HoloSite’s commercial launch in the USA and continuing investment in strengthening research and development. The company is also growing its London team to include key hires across technology, manufacturing, sales and marketing.
David Mitchell, Founder and CEO of XYZ Reality, said developing its engineering-Grade AR solution helping construction teams identify errors in real-time is just the start.
"The next phase is Assisted Reality, where our spatial computing technology will have the intelligence to automatically detect and report issues in the field. And ultimately, the goal is builders building from holograms. Our vision of developing world changing products aligns with Octopus Ventures’ mission of investing in companies that are powering the next industrial revolution. We look forward to building history.”
The latest round of funding is led by Octopus Ventures, one of the largest and most active venture investors in Europe, known for its commitment of investing in companies and founders that are changing the world. Octopus Ventures has a strong track record, spanning investment in health, fintech, consumer, B2B software, and deep tech. This includes WaveOptics, one of Octopus Ventures’ early investments in Augmented Reality, which was recently acquired by Snap Inc.
Rebecca Hunt, early-stage investor at Octopus Ventures, said: "We’ve always invested in entrepreneurs leading industry change and XYZ is doing just that. It's solving a massive problem that costs the construction industry billions every year, using its Engineering-Grade Augmented Reality solution to spearhead a shift in the sector’s approach. The founding team of David, Umar and Murray have deep domain and technical expertise, which we believe makes XYZ uniquely placed to drive this transformation.”
XYZ Reality also announces a new partnership with Mace, for the construction of a hyper-scale data centre in Europe. With speed to market being particularly essential for mission critical builds, HoloSite’s AR technology will have a significant role in supporting an accurate and time effective build for Mace, which last week appointed Jon McElroy its new Managing Director for International Technology.
Mace Technical Director, Stephen Henley, said: “Mace has built a reputation of redefining the boundaries of ambition, always bringing efficiency, innovation and responsibility to our projects. With the implementation of XYZ’s groundbreaking AR system, we continue to be committed to delivering projects faster, safer and better than ever before.”
Five years ago, Heather Bellini of Goldman Sachs Research expected virtual and augmented reality to become an $80 billion market by 2025.
But according to new research by global tech market advisory firm ABI Research, nearly 28 million augmented and mixed reality smart glasses will ship in 2026, while the total global AR/MR market will surpass $175 billion in the same year.
"Major tech players across hardware, software, and services look familiar in the consumer space, contributing to strong and consistent overall growth," says Eric Abbruzzese, Research Director for ABI Research. "Those big tech names, with active investment and product ranging from already available, to announced, to all-but-announced, are creating a consumer AR market that will be dynamic and welcoming rather than struggling and immature."