Saudi Focus

Officials at the water purchase signing agreement.

Officials at the water purchase signing agreement.

Acwa consortium inks deal for RO desal plant

June 2020

Saudi-based Acwa Power said its consortium with Gulf Investment Corporation and Al Bawani Water & Power Company has signed a major water purchase agreement with the Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC) for a greenfield sea water reverse osmosis desalination project being built at an investment of $650 million in Jubail city.

On completion, the Jubail 3A Independent Water Plant (IWP) will boast a capacity of 600,000 cu m of potable water per day, thus contributing to Saudi efforts to ensure water security.

The 25-year agreement was signed with Abdulrahman Abdulmohsen A AlFadley, Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture and Chairman of the Board Directors of SWPC.

The project will be delivered by Acwa Power, Gulf Investment Corporation and Al Bawani, while the engineering, procurement construction (EPC) contract has been awarded to a consortium comprising Power China, Sepco-III and Abengoa.

Under the terms of the partnership, the consortium led by Acwa Power will design, construct, commission, operate and maintain the desalination plant as well as associated potable water storage and electrical special facilities, said Acwa Power.

Lauding the deal, Saudi Water Partnership Company CEO Khaled Al Qureshi said: “In alignment with our mission to ensure adequate water production capacity for Saudi Arabia, we are keen to work closely with Acwa Power, a Saudi company with international expertise, as our trusted partner.”

“The Jubail 3A is a highly significant project for the Saudi water sector, featuring storage facilities as well as in-house solar power to reduce any burden on the energy grid. It will also be crucial in meeting growing water demand, supplying Riyadh, Qassim and the Eastern Provinces with much-needed potable water,” he added.

Acwa Power CEO Paddy Padmanathan pointed out that building sustainable water security was a key priority for the kingdom. “We are well positioned to ensure long-term availability and supply of reliable, low-cost water resources needed to advance socio-economic progress,” he noted.

“Desalinated water makes up 63 per cent of water consumed in Saudi Arabia and Acwa Power is a leading industry player in the kingdom’s water sector,” said Padmanathan. “It has been entrusted with several major desalination projects in the country including the Rabigh IWP, Shuqaiq IWPP and the Shuaibah plants.”

Chief Investment Officer Rajit Nanda said Acwa Power brings recognised sector expertise and a well demonstrated track record in successfully operating key projects under the Saudi public-private partnership framework.”  

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