Saudi Arabia’s Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) has extended the bid submission date until 15 March for the Jeddah 4 desalination plant.

This is the second time the bid deadline has been pushed back. The project owner had initially set a submission date of 1 December for the 400,000 cubic-metre-a-day (cm/d) reverse osmosis (RO) plant. However, the deadline has been extended again to allow firms more time to work on proposals.

MEED reported in November that more contractors were attempting to prequalify to participate in the bidding process for the Jeddah 4 plant, with only two groups having being initially prequalified for the scheme.

According to a source within the kingdom’s water sector, the prequalification requirements set by the kingdom’s Ministry of Municipal & Rural Affairs (Momra) were more stringent and difficult to meet than normal for similar schemes in the region. The threshold of previous capacity projects is expected to be reduced to allow more firms to participate in the tender.

In December 2014, MEED reported that the US’ Black & Veatch was awarded the deal to provide engineering and design consultancy services on the desalination project.

The fourth phase of the Jeddah scheme will expand the site’s capacity by 400,000 cm/d. SWCC has set a target of commissioning the desalination project by 2019.

The scheme is one of nine new desalination plants that SWCC, with a total capacity of more than 3 million cm/d, is planning to commission by the end of 2020.

The largest project planned by 2020 is the 1.5 million-cm/d Jubail 3 desalination plant, which will have a combined-cycle power plant with a capacity of 3,000MW.

The facility is scheduled to be commissioned in 2020 and will utilise a combination of thermal desalination and RO technology.