Saudi Arabia’s National Water Company (NWC) is still evaluating consultancy proposals for three planned public-private partnership (PPP) water treatment and wastewater projects.

According to sources close to the programme, consultancy proposals were received in late January for the financial, legal and technical consultancy roles on three major projects.

Consultants have formed consortiums to submit proposals for all three elements. The technical consultancy were due to be opened on 7 February, but, according to sources in Riyadh, the client has still to finish evaluating the proposals.

Two of the three projects which have consultants have submitted proposals for are for the Jeddah Airport 2 and Taif North sewage treatment plant (STP) projects.

The Jeddah Airport 2 STP will have a capacity of 500,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d), and will be located next to the existing phase 1 project at the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah.

The Jeddah Airport 2 project has faced a number of delays, having already twice been tendered under the EPC model. The project was originally tendered in 2012, but faced numerous delays as the client reconsidered the size and procurement model for the scheme. The STP was retendered as an EPC project in 2015, with the deadline for proposals postponed several times until December 2016. However, the client has now decided to move ahead with the project eithers as a build-own-operate (BOO) or build-operate-transfer (BOT) PPP models.

The second STP project that will be developed under the BOO or BOT model is the Taif North STP project, which will have the capacity to treat up to 270,000 cm/d a day of sewage water.

The last of the initial three projects that NWC has invited consultants to submit proposals for is the Yabreen water field project. The project has been designed to supply water to Riyadh to assist meet the growing demand for potable water in the capital city. The project will supply 800,000 cm/d of water from the Yabreen field in the Harad area to Riyadh. The project will involve the development of a well field at Yabreen and a water treatment plant.

In an exclusive interview with MEED in October 2016, NWC’s CEO Abdulrahman al-Ibrahim said the company would focus on utilising PPP models to develop future sewage treatment plants. The move towards the PPP model is part of the kingdom’s move towards attracting private financing for all future major utility schemes as a result of the severe impact the drop in oil prices is having on the government’s revenues.