The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), the developer behind the world’s most ambitious regenerative tourism project, has awarded its highest-value contract to date to a consortium led by ACWA Power to design, build, operate and transfer the Red Sea Project’s utilities infrastructure.
The contract marks a significant step forward for the project, establishing it as the region’s first tourism destination powered solely by renewable energy. A tourism project of this size, powered solely by renewable energy, has never been achieved on this scale anywhere in the world.
“This is a pivotal moment for us as we seek to build a new kind of tourism destination in Saudi Arabia, aligned with Vision 2030. We’re committed to pushing the boundaries of what it means to be sustainable and investing heavily in renewables is helping us to set new global standards in regenerative tourism,” said John Pagano, CEO of TRSDC.
“This contract also signifies a noteworthy step change for us as the consortium brings foreign investment to the project, demonstrating international support and confidence for the vision that is becoming a reality along the Red Sea coast. At the same time, we are delighted to partner with a consortium leader that has its roots in the Kingdom and shares our ambition to accelerate the energy transition locally,” said Pagano.
All of the utilities will be delivered under a single agreement, unique for a contract of this kind, which includes the provision of renewable power, potable water, wastewater treatment, solid waste management and district cooling for the 16 hotels, international airport and infrastructure that make up Phase 1 of the Red Sea Project.
Mohammad Abunayyan, chairman of ACWA Power, said: “The Red Sea Project is a vital undertaking under the Saudi Vision 2030 and aims to be a global showcase of the Kingdom’s ability to develop ambitious giga-projects. Being selected to support this project marks another milestone in our impressive bid win trajectory, and we are honored and proud to support TRSDC’s ambition to deliver a tourist destination that limits the environmental impact through the provision of zero-carbon emitting and zero-waste generating utility services.”
Energy will be generated via solar panels and wind turbines to meet an initial demand of 210MW with the ability to expand in line with the development.
The agreement expects to generate up to 650,000 MWh of 100 percent renewable energy to supply the destination and other utility systems, whilst emitting zero CO2. The resulting saving in CO2 emissions to the atmosphere is equivalent to nearly half-a-million tons each year.
The ACWA Power consortium is financed by Saudi and international banks, including the UK’s Standard Chartered Bank and China’s Silk Road Fund, and marks a new stage for the development, in terms of securing external investment.