Saudi Arabia moves deadline for major Jubail desalination project

12 Apr 2020
Saudi Arabia moves deadline for major Jubail desalination project

The Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC) has moved the bid submission date for the planned Jubail 3B independent water project (IWP) back by almost 2 months to 12 July.

The client had initially set a bid submission date of 17 May for the 570,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d) Jubail 3B IWP, but has extended the bid submission date to give bidders more time as a result of the travel restrictions and other measures being taken to limit movement during the Covid-19 virus outbreak.

In late March, SWPC appointed a consortium led by the local Acwa Power as preferred bidder for the planned 600,000 cm/d Jubail 3A IWP.

The client appointed the consortium as preferred bidder a day after opening the commercial bids for the planned IWP. The Acwa Power consortium had submitted the lowest levelised water tariff of SR1.54861 per cubic metre (SR/cm). A consortium of Japan’s Marubeni Corporation and the local Marafiq had submitted the second lowest tariff of SR1.59961/cm.

The full list of bidders and prices for Jubail 3A IWP:

  • Acwa Power (local)/ Gulf Investment Corporation (Kuwait)/ Al-Bawani (local), SR1.54861/cm
  • Marubeni Corporation (Japan)/ Marafiq (local), SR1.59961/cm
  • Aqualia (Spain)/ Haaco (local)/Alfanar (local), SR1.743542/cm
  • Utico (UAE), SR1.76518

SWPC, which was formerly called Water Electricity Company (WEC), prequalified 10 developers to participate in the tender for the Jubail 3A and the Jubail 3B IWP projects.

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.


Capacity (cm/d)


Rabigh 3 IWP



Shuqaiq 3 IWP



Yanbu 4  IWP



Jubail 3A IWP


Preferred bidder

Jubail 3B IWP 



The Jubail 3 scheme had originally been planned as a single 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.

Saudi Arabia is pushing ahead with a number of major desalination projects in partnership with the private sector as it seeks to increase capacity to meet the forecasted rise in demand for water.

Earlier in March, a consortium led by France’s Engie and the local Mowah signed the water purchase agreement (WPA) for the $450m Yanbu 4 IWP project. 

Energy & Utilities reported in February that SWPC had appointed the consortium as the preferred bidder for the 450,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d) Yanbu 4 IWP, after the group had submitted the lowest levelised tariff of 1.7446SRhala/cubic metre (SRh/cm) during a competitive bidding process.

The lowest tariff was marginally lower than the 1.7775SRh/cm submitted by the second lowest bidder, a consortium of Spain’s FCC Aqualia, and local firms HAACO and Alfanar.

The project will be developed with a concession period of 25 years, under which the successful developer will sign a water purchase agreement (WPA) with the Saudi government. The project will include two day storage tanks and a photovoltaic (PV) solar component to reduce demand on the national grid.

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