Neom tenders desalination EPC package

22 April 2024
The seawater reverse osmosis plant is to be completed within 12 months of contract award


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Saudi Arabian Neom's utility subsidiary, Enowa, has issued the request for proposals (RFP) for a contract to build a new seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination plant with a capacity of 150 million litres a day (MLD).

Enowa expects to receive proposals from qualified engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) companies by 22 May.

According to a source close to the project, the deadline is likely to be extended. 

The 150MLD project, which is equivalent to a capacity of 150,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d), was previously known as the Moonlight desalination plant.

It will be located adjacent to the existing 125MLD desalination plant at Duba on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast. 

MEED previously reported that Neom had received prequalification applications from interested companies in December.

The project is expected to take 12 months to complete.

Neom said the plant will treat seawater with a total dissolved solids measure of up to 42,000 milligrams a litre.

The project scope includes:

  • offshore intake towers and pipelines 
  • seawater intake and screening station
  • feed intake chlorination system
  • media filtration or MF/UF membranes
  • reverse osmosis first pass
  • reverse osmosis second pass
  • post-treatment and stabilisation
  • automated clean-in-place system
  • waste treatment unit
  • reject disposal and outfall

The selected contractor is also expected to build the necessary storage tanks for the desalinated and stabilised water, an operator control room, programmable logic control and Scada systems, among others.

In addition, the plant must to comply with Neom’s cybersecurity requirements.

To meet the short timeline, Neom has asked contractors to confirm whether they already possess a design of an existing plant that can be used for the project.

This project’s capacity is smaller than the zero liquid discharge (ZLD) desalination plant being developed by Japan’s Itochu and France’s Veolia at Neom’s Oxagon industrial city.

The ZLD plant’s first phase is expected to have a capacity of 500,000 cm/d.

A consortium of Enowa, Itochu and Veolia signed the joint development for the ZLD desalination plant in December 2022.

The planned ZLD plant will be powered 100% by renewable energy and is understood to require an investment of between $1.5bn and $2bn. It is expected to meet about 30% of Neom’s projected total water demand once complete.

MEED's April 2024 special report on Saudi Arabia includes:

> GVT & ECONOMY: Saudi Arabia seeks diversification amid regional tensions
> BANKING: Saudi lenders gear up for corporate growth
> UPSTREAM: Aramco spending drawdown to jolt oil projects
> DOWNSTREAM: Master Gas System spending stimulates Saudi downstream sector

> POWER: Riyadh to sustain power spending
> WATER: Growth inevitable for the Saudi water sector
> CONSTRUCTION: Saudi gigaprojects propel construction sector
> TRANSPORT: Saudi Arabia’s transport sector offers prospects


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