Saudi Arabia’s Water & Electricity Ministry has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Petroleum & Mineral Resources Ministry and the National Water Company (NWC) to provide water and treated sewage effluent for the $7bn Waad al-Shamal industrial development in the north of the kingdom.

NWC will provide the Waad al-Shamal development with 250,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d) of treated water from the cities of Sakara, Arar and Taif to be used for cooling, irrigation and other industrial purposes.

NWC is currently moving ahead with plans to form joint-venture partnerships with the private sector to provide several key services in the kingdom’s water and wastewater sector.

The partnerships will include joint ventures in the sales and operations and maintenance (O&M) of treated sewage effluent (TSE) to the oil sector, a leak detection tie-up and a programme to privatise wastewater treatment plants by granting concessions to private-sector partners.

The proposed joint ventures will involve NWC forming partnerships with local and international firms in the oil sector to provide TSE and O&M services for wastewater services to the oil industry in the kingdom’s Eastern Province. Speaking at MEED’s Mena Water event in November, Nasser al-Amiri, head of the treated sewage effluent (TSE) business unit at NWC, said expected revenue from such tie-ups would reach SR5.2bn ($1.4bn) over 20 years.

NWC is one of several major utility clients planning to provide infrastructure to support the Waad al-Shamal development. MEED recently reported that a 1,000MW power plant was planned at the Maaden development. The Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) is planning to oversee the construction of a 1,000MW combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant at the industrial site.