Firms bid for first Saudi water pipeline PPP

09 March 2023
The Rayis–Rabigh project will have a transmission capacity of 500,000 cubic metres a day

Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC) has received three bids for the contract to develop Saudi Arabia's first independent water transmission pipeline (IWTP) project.

The 150-kilometre-long IWTP project links Rayis in Medina to Rabigh in Mecca.

The bidders are: 

  • Nesma Company / Abdul Aziz Al Ajlan Sons / Ajlan & Bros / Mutlaq Al-Ghowairi Contracting Company / Buhur for Investment Company (local)
  • Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios (Spain) / Alkhorayef Water and Power Technologies (local) / Orascom Construction (Egypt)
  •  Vision International (local) / Taqa (UAE) / Gulf Investment Corporation  ( (GIC) Kuwait)

The Rayis–Rabigh IWTP project will have a transmission capacity of 500,000 cubic metres a day when complete. It is expected to reach commercial operation in 2026.

SWPC issued the request for proposals (RFP) for the contract in August.

Fourteen firms were qualified to bid for the contract to develop the scheme, as MEED reported in December.

SWPC intends to develop the project using a build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) model.

Initial plans

The 150km IWTP scheme was initially part of a longer planned project that extends from Yanbu.

However, the 39km segment of the initial project, which runs from Yanbu to Rayis, has been integrated into the $826m Yanbu 4 independent water producer (IWP) project, which was awarded in 2020 to a team led by France’s Engie and later renamed Al-Rayis 1.

The scheme is one of four projects comprising the initial batch of the kingdom’s IWTP programme.

Transmission agreement

The project companies implementing these planned projects will provide the entire transmission capacity to SWPC under a 35-year water transmission agreement (WTA).

SWPC’s obligations under the WTA will be guaranteed by a credit support agreement entered into by the Finance Ministry on behalf of the Saudi government.

The transaction advisory team for the first four IWTP projects comprises India’s Synergy Consulting as financial adviser and the local Amer al-Amr and Germany’s Fichtner Consulting as legal and technical advisers respectively.

The projects are in line with the kingdom’s National Water Strategy 2030, which aims to reduce the water demand-supply gap and ensure desalinated water accounts for 90 per cent of the national urban supply to reduce reliance on non-renewable ground sources.

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