A consortium led by Japan’s Marubeni and the local Abdul Latif Jameel has signed a contract with Saudi Arabia’s Water & Electricity company (WEC) to develop the 450,000 cubic-metre-a-day (cm/d) Shuqaiq 3 independent water project (IWP).

The winning consortium, which also comprises Spain’s Acciona and the local Rawafid al-Hadarah Holding Company, was selected as the preferred bidder in late December after submitting the lowest proposal in a competitive tender in September. The group signed the contract with WEC on 29 January.

The consortium had submitted a tariff price of SR1.95 per cubic metre (SR/cm) ($0.52/cm).

The selected proposal was marginally lower than the SR1.96/cm tariff submitted by a consortium led by the local Acwa Power, the second-lowest bidder.

The plant will use reverse osmosis (RO) membrane technology, and will be developed in the town of Shuqaiq, located on the Red Sea coast about 137 kilometres north of Jizan.

The Shuqaiq project will be developed under a build, own and operate (BOO) model, with a project company to be formed and 100 per cent owned by the successful bidder. The selected bidder will sign a 25-year water purchase agreement (WPA) with WEC, which will be the offtaker for the produced water.

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