The report will then be sent to the seven consortiums which have been prequalified for the project, with a request for proposals to follow.

The consortiums include Saudi Arabia’s Al-Rajhi Utilities Development Company with Germany’s Passavant-Roediger and Dubai-based Infrastructure Capital Group; the local Orascom Construction Industries with Spain’s Aqualia; and Kuwait’s Kharafi National.

A consortium of local Samcrete with Spain’s Befesa and Emasesa was also prequalified.

The other prequalified groups included the local AAW Consulting Engineers with France’s Veolia Water and the local International Environmental Technology Company; and UAE-based Metito Utilities with Japan’s Mitsui & Company, Australia’s Babcock & Brown, Germany’s Berlinwasser and the local Hassan Allam & Sons.

The final prequalified group includes Japan’s Marubeni Corporation, the UK’s Biwater, and two local firms ICAT and SIAC Industrial Construction & Engineering Company.

The successful bidder will enter into a public-private-partnership for the construction, financing, operation and maintenance of the new plant.

It will have an initial capacity of 250,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d) before being expanded to 500,000 cm/d. This will later be expanded again to 1.25 million cm/d (MEED 4:2:08).