Rabigh Arabian Water & Electricity Company (RAWEC) has decided to expand its independent water, steam and power project in Saudi Arabia.

Construction of the original 400MW fuel-oil cogeneration and desalination plant to serve the Rabigh refinery and petrochemical complex was completed in the second quarter of 2008.

The build-own-operate-transfer (Boot) contract for the plant was awarded in the third quarter of 2005 and was completed at a cost of about $1.1bn (MEED 26:8:05).

A special purpose vehicle, RAWEC, owns and operates the facility. Its shareholders are the local Acwa Power with Itochu Corporation, JGC Corporation and Marubeni, all of Japan.

RAWEC is now looking to expand the plant by as much as 400MW, although the exact size of the expansion is yet to be decided upon.

Saudi Aramco and Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical are currently working on a feasibility study for the extension project. The study is expected to be concluded within the next three months.