Saudi Arabia receives 51 expressions of interest for major IWPs

27 November 2017
The client is also considering linking the sale of existing power and water assets at both sites in with the new IWPs

Saudi Arabia’s Water & Electricity Company (WEC) has received expressions of interest (EOI) from 51 companies for the projects to develop the planned Shuqaiq 3 and Yanbu 4 independent water plants (IWPs), which will have a combined capacity of more than 800,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d.)

WEC received the EOIs by the 23 November deadline for both the planned Shuqaiaq 3 and Yanbu 4 schemes.

In a new development, the client is also considering linking the sale of existing assets at both sites in with the new IWPs.

For the 450,000 cm/d Yanbu 4 plant, developers were invited to submit EOIs by 23 November 2017. As part of the procurement for the new IWP, WEC is considering linking the acquisition of the existing Yanbu plants as part of the deal. The existing plants are: Yanbu 1, commissioned in 1981, Yanbu phase 2, commissioned in 1998, Yanbu reverse osmosis (RO), commissioned in 1998 and the Yanbu RO expansion, commissioned in 2013.

The Yanbu phase 1 is a combined power and water plant, with installed power capacity of 357MW and multi-stage flash (MSF) desalination capacity of 100,000 cm/d. Yanbu 2 has power and water capacities of 163MW and 144,000 cm/d MSF. The Yanbu RO plant has RO desalination capacity of 128,000 cm/d, with the expansion currently producing up to 68,000 cm/d.

As part of the Shuqaiq deal, the client is considering bundling in the Shuqaiq phase 1, a combined power and water plant with installed power capacity of 108MW and 97,000 cm/d multi-stage flash (MSF) desalination capacity.

WEC is seeking to select a developer to develop, finance, build and operate the planed Yanbu 4 and Shuqaiq 3 IWPs, either as standalone projects or as part of bundles with the existing assets. Under planned 25-year concession agreements, the selected developers will sell the desalinated water and power to WEC under either a water purchase agreement (WPA) or power and water purchase agreement (PWPA). The purchase agreements will be supported by a credit support agreement from the Saudi government.

Riyadh first launched plans to privatise assets of state desalination provider Saline Water conversion Corporation (SWCC) in 2008. However, the process stalled until 2016 when it was given fresh impetus following the launch of the Saudi Vision 2030 economic reform programme. SWCC revealed in late 2016 it was targeting to have sold all of its brownfield assets by 2020.

MEED reported earlier this year that SWCC was planning to privatise the existing Ras al-Khair power and water plant, which houses the largest desalination facility in the world.

The Ras al-Khair plant was planned to be the first brownfield asset of the SWCC portfolio to be privatised. SWCC has appointed France’s BNP Paribas to advise on the privatisation.

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