ACWA signs financial agreements for $700m desalination plant in Saudi Arabia


A consortium comprising ACWA Power and industrial conglomerate Saudi Brothers Commercial Company (SBCC) has signed senior financing and hedging agreements for the SAR2.625bn ($700m) Rabigh-3 independent water-desalination plant (IWP) in Saudi Arabia.

One of the largest SWRO desalination projects in the world, the new facility will generate 600,000 m³/day.

Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture and chairman of Water and Electricity Company (WEC) Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al-Fadley signed the water purchase agreement in December 2018, as WEC will act as the off taker of the project.

To own the Rabigh 3 IWP plant, a new company, Rabigh Three Company (RTC), has been formed in which ACWA Power holds 70% stake and SBCC 30%.

The transaction will be financed through limited recourse ring fenced project financing, with Natixis, MUFG, SAMBA and Riyad Bank as the initial mandated lead arrangers.

Earlier in March 2019, Riyad Bank provided an equity bridge loan for the transaction.

The plant is scheduled to begin commercial operations in 2021.

Rabigh 3 IWP will yield a capacity of 600,000m³ a day using reverse osmosis (RO) technology and the water output will cater to the demand of Makkah al-Mukarramah and Jeddah areas.

The plant will ensure consistent and reliable water supply to the residents of the two cities and village.

The Rabigh 3 IWP project is expected to create new employment opportunities in several fields, including construction, operations and maintenance (O&M), in addition to improving the local capabilities in terms of content.

The EPC contract has been awarded to a consortium of SEPCOIII (Power China), Abengoa and SIDEM (Veolia).

An operations and maintenance agreement has been signed with Rabigh Water Production Services, an affiliate of First National Operations & Maintenance (NOMAC).

WEC awarded the project to ACWA Power Consortium in November 2018 at a record tariff of US Cents 0.53/m³.

The plant will be constructed in Rabigh, Saudi Arabia.


Image: Rabigh2 Al Mourian IPP. Photo: Courtesy of ACWA POWER.

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