Jubail 3B project set for commissioning

26 September 2023
Seawater reverse osmosis plant is expected to reach commercial operation in 2024

The SR2.6bn ($693.3m) Jubail 3B independent water project (IWP) in Saudi Arabia is heading towards wet commissioning, according to Spain's Acciona.

The Spanish firm is implementing the project's $400m engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract along with China's Sepco 3.

The firm said that the plant's power transformers and its downstream switchgears have been switched on.

According to Acciona, the next step will be to start operating the solo pumps, heading the seawater availability to move forward with the wet commissioning.

"Once all the required parameters are met in each stage of filtration, the process will move on until the plant produces potable water, expected in the coming months, with the goal of having the plant fully operational by 2024," it said.

Equipped with reverse osmosis technology, the Jubail 3B IWP facility will have a capacity of 570,000 cubic meters a day (cm/d), supplying potable water to 2 million people in the cities of Riyadh and Qassim once commercially operational.

Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC) and the developer team led by France's Engie reached financial close on the scheme in October 2021.

The developer consortium, which formed the Al-Jubail International Water Company, includes local firms Nesma Company and Abdulaziz Alajlan Sons.

The Jubail 3B IWP scheme includes storage tanks of one-day production as well as in-house solar power to reduce power consumption from the national electricity grid. 

The build-own-operate contract is for 25 years.

The developer team submitted a levelised cost of water tariff of SR1.591 ($0.42) a cubic metre for the Jubail 3B IWP scheme in 2020.

Engie will own 40 per cent of the project company, while Nesma and Alajlan will each have a 30 per cent shareholding in the entity. 

Over $8bn-worth of water desalination projects are in the pre-execution phase in Saudi Arabia, according to the latest available data from regional projects tracker MEED Projects. 

Photos: Acciona

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