The National Advisor Bureau Limited, a company based in the United Arab Emirates, now moves to conduct the first test run of its ambitious plan to tow icebergs from Antarctica to the Persian Gulf in order to be used as a source of fresh water.
As the company’s managing director Abdulla Alshehi explained during an interview on Euronews’ Inspire Middle East show, a smaller iceberg would first be towed by a tug boat later this year to either Cape Town or Perth for water harvesting as part of the first trial run.
He also noted that while this test would cost between $60-80 million, while the estimated cost of towing an iceberg all the way to UAE ranges from $100 to $150, it would still be worth it.
"It will be cheaper to bring in these icebergs and utilise them for freshwater rather than utilising the desalination water, because desalination plants require a huge amount of capital investments", Alshehi said.
He also added that the project may lessen the negative impact of desalination on the local environment, and attract tourists interested in "iceberg outings", not to mention that floating these huge slabs of ice off the UAE coast might result in increased rainfall that would benefit the local agriculture.