SIDEM - The Oldest Desalination Specialised Company

SIDEM is a Veolia Water Technologies business unit dedicated to large desalination projects, providing expert services in design, engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance.

Headquartered in Paris, SIDEM relies on its regional offices in Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and India to provide local commercial support, engineering services and resources in field activities.

A true trailblazer, SIDEM is the oldest desalination company in operation in the world. The foundation of its success and longevity on this highly competitive and technologically challenging market rests on its agility and its capacity to innovate. These two qualities have allowed SIDEM to better manage the risks inherent to its activities and to build a differentiated offer.

Strength is in the people 

SIDEM’s structure is optimized around desalination projects and the company has developed a lean answer to market constraints. To ensure the level of responsiveness required, all employees work in project mode, under expert supervision, favoring an agile management style with short decision-making processes. Working with SIDEM means relying on responsible, committed and performing people, all qualities which have been forged through years of success in often complicated and demanding situations.

A culture of innovation

Research and development is at the heart of the organization. It too is managed in project mode, associating key people, from engineers to purchasing, whose profile or competencies bring value to the project. SIDEM will also look to experts and scientists outside its organization when necessary. MED technology was born from this methodology.
The membrane desalination market is an extremely competitive one, where Veolia is bringing innovative solutions in the fields of pretreatment and post-treatment. The strong potential of the reverse osmosis (RO) market and the many large-scale projects in the Gulf, notably, based on this technology, have enticed SIDEM to invest in R&D on this technology as well.

Compact, reliable and competitive plants

Development outlook for SIDEM is essentially in the Middle East (United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman), both for membrane and thermal desalination. The company is gearing to answer in the next 3 years to call for tenders on mega desalination projects (from 200,000 m3/d to 1,200,000 m3/d).
Present in the Middle East for over 40 years, SIDEM has proved its competitiveness as well as the performance and longevity of its installations and the quality of its after-sale service. To maintain its success, SIDEM is developing new offers to cater to clients now looking for compact and reliable plants, with less of an environmental impact and able to produce water at a more competitive price point.
To do so, SIDEM is relying on what has always been its strength: cutting-edge R&D, a lean organization, and a unique return of experience from having built and operated so many desalination plants.

Mobile Water Services

SIDEM mobilizes in response to Hurricane Irma


The passage of hurricane Irma is a terrible tragedy for our clients and colleagues in Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthelemy. Damages are outstanding, the hurricane having blown away houses and destroyed vehicles. People have run out of water, power and food, and the insecurity level has been very high.

Without any groundwater on the two islands, SIDEM’s desalination plants represent the only means to produce drinking water. The RO part of the plant in Saint-Barthelemy was not as affected and was able to quickly start.
The thermal part of the plant coupled with an incinerator is also up and running.

Unfortunately, damage to the RO plant in Saint-Martin was much more significant but the response from SIDEM’s local team has been tremendous. Despite their own personal hardship, they have mobilized tirelessly to ensure that the plant can be operational as fast as possible. Electronic parts have been dried or replaced, filters have been retrieved from under crumbled walls and piping has been redone. The plant has been restarted partially.

Drinking water production is complemented by an emergency Mobile Water Services unit which Veolia Water Technologies has sent from Spain. Two SIDEM employees have joined the Veolia Water Force to start up the unit.

It will take time and a lot of courage for people in the Caribbean to reestablish a certain normalcy of life. Veolia, through its Foundation, has put together a fundraising campaign to help its employees who were affected by hurricane Irma.