Saudi Arabia invites advisory bids for major independent water projects

07 March 2017

Two desalination plants will have a total capacity of 830,000 cubic metres a day

State desalination provide Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) has invited consultants to submit proposals for two major planned desalination projects.

The state utility has invited consultants to submit proposals for financial, legal and technical advisory roles on a planned 450,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d) Yanbu facility and a 380,000 cm/d project planned at Shuqaiq.

The client has set a deadline of 22 March for proposals.

The projects are two of eight planned independent water projects (IWPs) or independent water & power projects (IWPPs) planned to be developed in the kingdom up to 2025.

MEED recently reported that SWCC had appointed advisers for the planned 600,000 cm/d Rabigh 3 IWP. The lead adviser is the local Banque Saudi Fransi. The client has appointed Germany’s Fichtner Engineering and Consulting as the technical adviser, the UK’s DLA Piper as legal adviser and the UK’s Alderbrook as financial adviser.

The client had originally been planning to tender and award a standard engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to develop the Rabigh 3 plant. MEED reported in late 2015 that SWCC was planning to issue tender documents for the EPC deal by February 2016. However, as with the vast majority of the kingdom’s major upcoming utilities project, the plant will now be delivered through a public-private partnership (PPP) model as the kingdom seeks to reduce pressure on capital expenditure caused by lower oil revenues.

SWCC is increasing the role of private investment in the desalination sector as part of the kingdom’s Vision 2030. It is also preparing to privatise existing assets. SWCC forecasts it needs to increase the current desalination capacity of 5.1 million cm/d to 7.3 million cm/d by 2020 to meet growing demand.

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