Saudi Arabia’s state-owned  National Water Company (NWC) has changed the order in which it will tender three water management contracts.

NWC had originally planned to issue a request for proposals for the Greater Dammam contract, which includes the city of Khobar, first. It then planned to award a second contract covering Medina, and a third for Mecca and Taif.

But NWC now plans to issue the tender covering the Mecca and Taif scheme first, Medina second and Dammam last. Contractors expect NWC to issue the first request for proposals before the start of the Hajj in late November.

The contracts are public-private partnerships lasting for five to seven years.

NWC has prequalified 10 companies and groups to bid for the contracts. They include Spain’s Aqualia; France’s Veolia; Ger-many’s Gelsenwasser with Saudi Services Company; France’s Saur with the local Zamil Group; Spain’s Agbar with the Water & Environmental Services Company and Zohair Shakir, both local; and the UAE/German joint venture of Metito Berlinwasser with the Saudi Masader Company for Water & Power.

The list also includes a team of Miahona, a wholly owned subsidiary of the local Acwa Power Development, with the UK’s Severn Trent and Malaysia’s Puncak Niaga; the UK’s United Utilities with Saudi Pan Kingdom Company (Sapac); Spain’s Acciona with Malaysia’s YTL Corporation and the Netherlands’ Besix; and Malaysia’s Ranhill Utilities.