Saudi Arabia makes progress with major projects

Saudi Arabia makes progress with major projects

28 Apr 2020

As much of the tendering activity for infrastructure projects across the Middle East has unsurprisingly come to a halt as a result of the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak, Saudi Arabia has been able to push ahead and award major contracts and issue tenders for power and water projects.

On the last day of April, the Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC) signed the water purchase agreement (WPA) with a consortium led by the local Acwa Power for the planned 600,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d) Jubail 3A independent water project (IWP).

The signing of the WPA came only one month after SWPC had opened the commercial tariffs for the project.

Just a day prior to the signing of the final agreements for the Jubail 3A IWP, state desalination company Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) awarded an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract worth $500m to build the Khobar 2 desalination plant on the eastern coast of the kingdom.

Riyadh is also making progress with its ambitious National Renewable Energy Programme (NREP). In the first week of April, the Renewable Energy Project Development Office (Repdo) shortlisted bidders for five of the six projects planned under the second round of the NREP. Repdo invited the two lowest bidders for the largest project under the second round, the Al-Fasiliyah IPP, to submit new offers on 19 April.

Days after shortlisting bidders for the 870MW worth of solar projects, Repdo issued the tenders for the third round of NREP, demonstrating the kingdom’s resolve to make progress with its target of developing a staggering 58.7GW of clean energy capacity by 2030.

With the IMF warning that the coronavirus outbreak may cause the worst recession for almost a century, retaining market confidence is critical at a time when many businesses are facing the prospect of laying off workers or even going out of business.  Saudi Arabia’s recent activity will help placate any fears that the collapse in oil prices would derail its ambitious development and infrastructure programmes post-Covid-19.

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