Saudi Arabia has extended the deadline for bids on two contracts to build a power and water project at Yanbu to 7 May.

Saudi Arabia’s Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) and Power & Water Utility Company for Jubail & Yanbu (Marafiq) are the clients on the Yanbu 3 project. The contracts for the Yanbu 3 project are split between development of the electricity generation part of the project and the desalination component.

According to a source at SWCC, the deadlines were pushed back because “many of the bidders requested an extension”.

Saudi power demand forecast (MW)
Year Demand (MW)
2011 46,110
2012 49,670
2013 53,830
2014 57,350
2015 61,500
2016 64,720
2017 67,990
2018 71,220
2019 74,340
2020 77,430
Source: Saudi Elecricity Company (SEC)

The bid deadlines have already been pushed back on several occasions. In January, the scope of the power component was changed from 1,700MW to 2,500MW. That lead to the deadline for bids on both the power plant and adjacent 550,000-cubic metres-a-day desalination facility to be extended to March.

Contractors were given until 19 March to respond to the desalination tender. The bid deadline for the power tender was moved to 9 April.

The original deadlines for the desalination and power components were 21 September 2010.

Phase three will be built to the south of the existing power and desalination plants at Yanbu on the western coast of Saudi Arabia.

SWCC and Marafiq have been working together on the project since they combined their respective projects for the Yanbu site in July 2009. They are tendering design, engineering and construction contracts for the power and desalination components separately.

Construction is expected to take three years from site handover to commercial operation. Heavy fuel oil will be the main fuel source for the project, with diesel oil used for start-up of the plant.

Seawater for the desalination unit will be obtained through an intake channel and an outfall culvert will discharge seawater and brine back into the Red Sea.

The plant will be connected to the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) grid through a newly constructed 380kV substation at Yanbu. Germany’s Fichtner is the adviser on the project.