The contract will cover the management of Jeddah’s sewer and water distribution systems.

The bidders are France’s Veolia Water; France’s Suez and the local Acwa Power Development; Spain’s Aqualia and Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas; another Spanish company, Grupo Agbar, with the local Water & Environmental Services Company; France’s Saur with the local Al Zamil; and Singapore Utilities International with Singapore’s Salcon Group.

Veolia is understood to have been selected for an identical contract covering the management of the water network in Riyadh.

Two more contracts are planned for Medina and Dammam, with the tender for Dammam due to be issued in 2008.

The four management contracts are part of the kingdom’s wider plans to restructure its water and wastewater sectors. The privatisation of wastewater treatment plants in Riyadh and Jeddah is also planned.