Water Production Project will have a daily capacity of 600,000 cubic meters of desalinated water
RIYADH, DEC 25 (CIC) – To meet growing demand for potable water in Saudi Arabia, the Water & Electricity Company (WEC) Board of Directors, chaired by the Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Alfadley, has signed an agreement calling for the privatization of water production and wastewater projects, starting with the Rabigh-3 IWP desalination project, which is expected to produce 600k m3/day by 2022. The project has already entered Phase 3.
According to Alfadley, the project about 150km north of Jeddah will utilize reverse osmosis to produce desalinated water. It is just one of the water production and wastewater projects the government will tender to the private sector in line with Vision 2030.
The Council of Ministers recently approved the tendering of the first batch of water production and wastewater projects, which comprise four water production projects and three wastewater projects.
Alfadley also said these projects will improve service levels and capital expenditure efficiencies, while leveraging the private sector’s finance experience and increasing its participation in the economy. The Ministry, according to Abdulrahman Alfadley, has been successful in reducing power consumption in independent water production projects by 20% and increasing local content to 40% in the beginning of the projects with an aim of it gradually reaching 70% within the first five years of operation.
Also, attending the signing was Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning, Mohammed Altwaijri, the Chairman of the National Center for Privatization & PPP (NCP), and a member of the MEWA Privatization Supervisory Committee. The Project will supply potable water to the Makkah Region to meet increasing demand. The project was tendered to investors on a BOO (build-own-operate) basis and the wining consortium was led by ACWA Power.
“We at NCP are working hard to execute the Privatization Program,” Alutwaijri said, “by improving the quality of serv ices and increasing the contribution of the private sector from 40% to 65% of GDP.
“Today, with the signing of these agreements,” Minister Altuwaijri continued, “we are witnessing the first public-private-partnership (PPP) in the Environment, Water and Agriculture sector under the Privatization Program. Over the last several months, the Supervisory Committee has developed the sector privatization strategy in accordance with the Privatization Program objectives.
“The signing of the Rabigh 3 independent water project marks the beginning of the execution of the strategy. It will also contribute to the quality of service provided to the Makkah Region, the pilgrims coming to visit the holy mosque and support other Vision programs such as Dhyouf Ar-rahman program.”
The Supervisory Committee for the privatization of the Environment, Water and Agriculture sector launched activities in the water sector and wastewater management. It also contributes to increasing capital expenditure efficiencies by increasing operational efficiency in potable water production to 5 million m3/day of desalinated water, the largest desalination rate nationwide.