A consortium comprising Spanish company Acciona, Marubeni, Abdul Latif Jameel-CDC and Rawafid Alhadarah Holding, has won a €750m contract from Saudi Arabia’s state-owned Water and Electricity Company (WEC) to finance, design and build the Shuqaiq 3 desalination plant and operate and maintain it for 25 years.
The development is touted to be the largest project of the Spanish company’s subsidiary, Acciona Agua, in Saudi Arabia. It will be implemented under a build, own and operate (BOO) contract.
Acciona Agua will be involved in the project structure as an investor, sole EPC (turnkey) contractor and majority partner in operation and maintenance.
Acciona was chosen due to its experience in major desalination projects worldwide and because it offered desalinated water price of $0.52 per m³.
Scheduled for completion in 2021, Shuqaiq 3 will be located on the shores of the Red Sea and will be one of Saudi Arabia’s largest desalination plants.
It will use inverse osmosis technology and have a capacity to process 450,000m³ per day to cater to a population of two million.
The facility will also incorporate a solar photovoltaic facility to reduce its power consumption.
As part of social outreach measures, the consortium will offer academic and practical training to residents of the area in the first few years to nurture the development of water industry professionals.
The project is part of Saudi Arabia’s plan to modernise its water industry by renovating fresh water production facilities and adapting them to international quality and efficiency standards.
Shuqaiq 3 is Acciona’s third desalination plant in Saudi Arabia.
In July 2018, Acciona Agua won a contract for the Al-Khobar 1 desalination plant in Al-Khobar on the east coast, about 400km from Riyadh.
The turnkey project, valued at more than €200m, is the first of this kind to be commissioned by government corporation Saline Water Conversion (SWCC) from a Spanish company.
The facility will be capable of serving a population of 350,000 and will also supply water to Aramco, the world’s largest oil company.
In 2012, Acciona won a contract to design, build and commission the Al Jubail seawater desalination plant, which has been serving the city and the industrial complex in the Eastern Province, on the Persian Gulf coast, since 2015.
With the three projects, the Spanish company will provide water to over three million people.
Image: Acciona team wins €750m contract for desalination plant in Saudi Arabia. Photo: Courtesy of Acciona, S.A.