The deadline for bids to build the third phase of the Yanbu power and desalination plant has been set for 22 September.

Saudi Arabia’s Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) and Power & Water Utility Company for Jubail & Yanbu (Marafiq) are tendering the project.

The two companies have been working together on the project since they combined their respective projects for the Yanbu site in July 2009.

Phase three will comprise a 1,700MW oil-fired power plant with a 550,000 m3/d desalination unit. It will be built to the south of the existing power and desalination plants at Yanbu on the western coast of Saudi Arabia.

SWCC and Marafiq are tendering design, engineering and construction contracts for the power and desalination components separately. The two companies expect to award contracts at the end of December.

Construction is expected to take three years from site hand-over to commercial operation. Heavy fuel oil will be the main fuel source for the project with diesel oil used for start-up of the plant.

Seawater for the desalination unit will be obtained through an intake channel and an outfall culvert will discharge seawater and brine back into the Red Sea.

The plant will be connected to the Saudi Electricity company (SEC) grid through a newly constructed 380kV substation at Yanbu. Germany’s Fichtner is the adviser on the project.