Saudi Focus

Over 40 global firms vie for giant Jubail utility

July 2019

Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC) – formerly Saudi Arabia’s Water & Electricity (WEC) – said a total of 43 leading utility developers or developer consortiums from across the globe have submitted bids for the development of an independent water and power project (IWPP) coming up at an area 18 km south of the Jubail Industrial City on the Arabian Gulf Coast.

Of these, 11 are locals with the list being spearheaded by Saudi heavyweight Acwa Power, according to SWPC.

The others include Nesma Holding; Power and Water Utility Company for Jubail and Yanbu (Marafiq); Saudi Technologists Consulting Engineers And Partners Company (Satech); Bahr Rawafid Company (Rawafid); Shibh Al Jazira General Contracting; Amwal Al Khaleej; Saudi Services for Electro Mechanic Works (SSEM); Arabian Bemco Contracting Company (Bemco); Jawza Infrastructure Development & Partner Holding Company and Delta Notional Energy Company.

The new Jubail Phase 3 plant will be located adjacent to the existing plant units (Jubail Phase 1, Jubail Phase 2 and Jubail RO plants), in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.

On completion, it will have a capacity of 1.17 million cu m per day of potable water through 60 per cent reverse osmosis and 40 per cent thermal desalination technology, respectively.

The global industry giants eyeing the mega project include General Electric Company (US); Engie, Veolia and EDF (France); Acciona Agua, Cobra and Abengoa (Spain); Mitsubishi, Sumitomo, Mitsui and Marubeni (Japan) besides Chinese consortiums led by Harbour Engineering Arabia Company and JSG, Korea’s Kepco and Indian utility group Nutek, said senior SWPC officials.

Major regional groups such as Kuwait-based Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) and the UAE’s MDC Power Holding Company are also in the fray besides Elsewedy Electric of Egypt, revealed the officials.

As per the contract, WEC will conduct a competitive process to select a developer or developer consortium for the development, financing, engineering, procurement, construction, implementation, operation and maintenance of the plant.

 The project will also include a 3,000 -MW power plant, together with associated infrastructure and facilities.

 The project company to be incorporated to develop the project will sell its entire power and desalinated water capacity and output to WEC under a power and water purchase agreement (PWPA). It will have the concession for 25 years, the officials stated.

 SWPC’s obligations under the PWPA will be supported by a credit support agreement from the Government of Saudi Arabia, they added.  

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