It sounds incredible, but the project for the delivery of icebergs from Antarctica to the UAE may move from the phase of theoretical discussion to the stage of practical implementation this year. The announcement was made by the representatives of National Advisor Bureau Limited, which plans to deliver ice mountains to the country. $80 million has already been included in the budget for the implementation of this project.
This story began in the spring of 2017 when for the first time, the public heard about the plans for transporting Antarctic icebergs to the port of Fujairah. The problem of limited drinking water reserve has always existed in the country, and with the growth of the population, it will become only more acute. Therefore, local authorities are considering a variety of ways to solve it, including such unexpected ones as ice mountains. Besides the fact that large ice blocks contain tons of clean drinking water, their appearance in coastal waters can potentially increase the number of precipitations, which will undoubtedly have a positive effect on local agriculture.
And although the UAE Ministry of Energy denied this information in 2017, calling it “just rumors,” the director of National Advisor Bureau Limited, Abdullah Mohammed Suleiman Al Shehi did not abandon his idea and did everything possible to implement it. Thus in 2018, the National Advisor Bureau Limited received patents for the formation of a scientific committee to evaluate the project.
Already this year, Al Shehi announced that the first freshwater icebergs for the UAE would be delivered to the ports of Cape Town (in South Africa) and Perth (in Australia). Such a solution is economically more profitable than desalination plants since it does not require significant preliminary investments.