Four groups had been expected to bid for the contract, but only South Korea’s Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Companyeventually did. The other contractors say they decided not to bid after RCJ&Y halved the scope of works due to budgetary constraints. The plant was originally to have the capacity to generate 160 MW and produce 100,000 gallons a day of water. The revised plans envisaged building the plant in two stages, with the second half to be built under the auspices of the newly created Power & Water Utilities Company for Jubail & Yanbu (Marafiq).

The project’s cancellation raises questions over other new capacity additions planned for the industrial cities. A project to install a fifth turbine at Yanbu was also cancelled by RCJ&Y in March. Contractors say they expect no new power or water projects to be tendered for the cities until the gas initiative projects are under way.