Saudi Arabia’s National Water Company (NWC) has announced plans to privatise a series of wastewater treatment plants across the kingdom.

The contracts have been valued at SR920m ($245m) in total. The company will tender each of the assets separately.

The first asset is the privatisation of the under-construction industrial wastewater treatment plant located in Jeddah, as it is designated for the treatment of wastewater and industrial water with a capacity of 50,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d). The project, worth SR140m, is set to start commercial operation by the summer.

The second project is an industrial and wastewater treatment plant located in Riyadh. The water drainage plant will have a capacity of 25,000 cm/d at an estimated cost of up to SR80m. The project is to start-up soon and can be expanded at a later stage.

NWC also plans to privatise major wastewater treatment plants, commencing with Al-Khaleel plant in Medina, which has a capacity of 240,000 cm/d, as well as another plant that will be established soon with a capacity of 200,000 cm/d.

NWC has also signed the agreement of prequalification, operation, maintenance, marketing and sale of the treated sewage effluent (TSE) and the transport for the reverse osmosis plant with Riyadh-based Mowah. Up to 50,000cm/d could be transported and used for the industrial zones located south of Jeddah city.

Under each agreement, the developer will rehabilitate the existing plant fully, and make the necessary operation & maintenance to the plant for a period of 20 years before the assets are transferred back to NWC.

The private investment plans for the country’s wastewater sector follows NWC’s previous announcement that it will invest about SR10bn over the next 10 years on expanding the sale of TSE.

TSE is currently used for municipal purposes uses, such as irrigation of trees in roads and public streets as well as the public parks, green fields and hygiene works.