• Saudi Aramco may tender water infrastructure projects for Jizan Economic City (JEC) by end of 2015
  • Projects will include industrial wastewater plant, desalination plant, and water and wastewater networks
  • Aramco took responsibility for JEC infrastructure works in 2013

Saudi Aramco could tender water projects for Jizan Economic City (JEC) as early as November 2015.

The first-phase projects will include the design-and-build of an industrial wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), a desalination plant, and water and wastewater networks.

The WWTP is expected to have a capacity of 40,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d), while the reverse osmosis desalination plant is expected to have a capacity of 55,000 cm/d.

Process design works are currently under way.

The $7bn refinery and the integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) power plant, planned as the anchors for JEC, are due to start their project execution phases in 2015 and early 2016, and be completed in 2018.

Infrastructure works, which also include communications, roads, site preparations and the electricity grid, are due for completion in 2017.

Aramco was mandated to execute the first phase of the 106-square-kilometre $20bn JEC in 2013, and intends to hand it over to a developer on completion of the first phase and focus on building up conversion industries around the refinery and power plant.

JEC has been plagued by problems since its inception in 2006. With a budget of $27bn, the city was intended to bring economic growth to one of the kingdom’s most underdeveloped and impoverished regions.

Aramco gradually took over responsibility for JEC from the original developers, Saudi Binladin Group and Malaysia’s MMC Corporation, after they made little progress with infrastructure works and attracting investment to the remote area.

This has allowed Aramco to push ahead with the infrastructure needed to construct and operate the refinery and IGCC power plant.

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