Saudi Arabia invites bids for large Jubail desalination plant

20 Sep 2020
Saudi Arabia invites bids for large Jubail desalination plant

Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) has invited contractors to submit proposals for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the 1 milllion cubic metre a day (cm/d) Jubail seawater reverse osmosis (RO) plant by 4 November

Saudi state desalination provider Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) has invited contractors to submit proposals for a new seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) plant in Jubail, which will have a capacity of 1 million cubic metres a day (cm/d).

According to sources close to the project, the client has set a submission date of 4 November for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract.

The project is part of the kingdom’s desalination development programme to meet the growing demand for potable water.

Most of the capacity will be developed in partnership with the private sector through independent water producer (IWP) schemes, which is being overseen by the Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC).

SWPC is overseeing the development of two IWP schemes at Jubail, phases 3A and 3B.

Energy & Utilities reported earlier in September that a consortium led by the local Acwa Power has reached financial close for the $650m Jubail 3A IWP.

Acwa Power, in consortium with Kuwait’s Gulf Investment Company (GIC) and the local AlBawani Water and Power Company, was awarded the contract to develop the plant for a world-record water tariff of $cents41 per cubic metre ($c/cm). The water purchase agreement (WPA) was signed on 21 May.

The Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC) is the offtaker for the project.

The project is being financed through limited recourse project financing with Al-Rajhi Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), Riyad Bank and Mizuho Bank as the initial mandated arrangers. Riyad Bank and Aljazira have already provided equity bridge loans for the transaction.

The reverse osmosis (RO) Jubail 3A IWP will have a desalination capacity of 600,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d) and is due to be commissioned towards the end of 2022.

The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract has been awarded to a consortium of Sepco 3 (China), Power China and Spain’s Abengoa.

The Acwa Power consortium saw off competition from three other groups to win the Jubail 3A IWP deal, with SWPC having prequalified 10 groups to participate in the tenders for the Jubail 3A and Jubail 3B IWP tenders.

 The Jubail 3B IWP is planned to have a capacity of 570,000 cm/d, with bids due on 17 May. India’s Synergy Consulting has been appointed as lead and financial adviser for the Jubail 3 A and B projects. UK-based law firm DLA Piper has been appointed as legal adviser and UK-based Atkins is technical adviser for the planned projects.

Bids for the Jubail 3B project are due on 1 October.

The Jubail 3 scheme had originally been planned as one independent water and power project (IWPP) with a 1.17 million cm/d desalination capacity and a power component of 3,000MW. However, the client decided to drop the power generation component and proceed with the projects as two separate IWP projects.

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