State desalination provider Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) has appointed advisers for two planned independent water projects (IWPS) with a combined total capacity of more than 800,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d).

The utility has appointed Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui banking Corporation (SMBC) as financial adviser, Austria’s ILF Consulting Engineers as technical adviser and the UK’s DLA Piper as legal adviser for the planned 450,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d) Yanbu IWP and the 380,000 cm/d Shuqaiq IWP.

MEED reported in March that SWCC had invited consultants to submit proposals for the three advisory roles.

The projects are two of eight planned IWPs or independent water & power projects (IWPPs) planned to be developed in the kingdom up to 2025.

In early March, MEED SWCC appointed advisers for the planned 600,000 cm/d Rabigh 3 IWP. The lead adviser is the local Banque Saudi Fransi. The client has appointed Germany’s Fichtner Engineering and Consulting as the technical adviser, the UK’s DLA Piper as legal adviser and the UK’s Alderbrook as financial adviser.

The client had originally been planning to tender and award a standard engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to develop the Rabigh 3 plant. MEED reported in late 2015 that SWCC was planning to issue tender documents for the EPC deal by February 2016. However, as with the vast majority of the kingdom’s major upcoming utilities project, the plant will now be delivered through a public-private partnership (PPP) model as the kingdom seeks to reduce pressure on capital expenditure caused by lower oil revenues.

SWCC is increasing the role of private investment in the desalination sector as part of the kingdom’s Vision 2030. It is also preparing to privatise existing assets. SWCC forecasts it needs to increase the current desalination capacity of 5.1 million cm/d to 7.3 million cm/d by 2020 to meet growing demand.