Saudi Arabia has extended the tender closing dates for the third phase of Saudi Arabia’s Yanbu power and water desalination plant.

The project client, Saudi Arabia’s Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) and Power & Water Utility Company for Jubail & Yanbu (Marafiq), has now given contractors until 6 December to bid for the desalination component of the plant and 11 December to bid for the power generation plant.

Bids will be opened one day after the deadline for each contract. The deadline for the desalination unit was previously set for 23 October and 30 October for the power plant.

Phase three will comprise a 1,700MW oil-fired power plant with a 550,000 cubic metre a day 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 have been working together on the project since they combined their respective projects for the Yanbu site in July 2009. They are tendering design, engineering and construction contracts for the power and desalination components separately.

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.