Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC), in association with a consortium comprising the France-headquartered Engie (40 percent), Saudi-based Nesma Company Limited (30 percent) and Abdulaziz Al-Ajlan Sons for Commercial and Real Estate Investment Company (30 percent), has achieved commercial close on the Jubail 3B independent water project (IWP). Following the April 29 announcement by SWPC naming the Engie-led consortium as preferred bidder, a 25-year water purchase agreement between SWPC and the Engie-Nesma-Ajlan consortium was signed on June 22 in the presence of Abdulrahman Al-Fadli, chairman of the board of SWPC and minister of environment, water and agriculture.
Located 65 km north of Dammam airport, the Jubail 3B IWP plant will produce 570,000 m3/day of potable water through reverse osmosis technology to supply the cities of Jubail and Dammam. The plant will include storage facilities for one operational day in addition to in-house renewable energy capacity to reduce grid electricity consumption throughout the desalination process. The project is part of the water schemes in Saudi Arabia developed under the public-private-partnership (PPP) structure. The consortium will develop and finance the desalination plant, which will be operated and maintained by Engie. The Jubail 3B project was awarded by SWPC as a build, own, operate (BOO) contract, with commercial operation expected in 2024.
Khalid Al-Quraishi, CEO of SWPC, said: “Despite the fluctuations, liquidity crises and changing global market conditions, the Saudi Water Partnership Company and the consortium succeeded in completing the financial closure procedures in close cooperation with the group of lenders, which indicates the company’s efforts. The SWPC will provide full support for investment projects, and to enhance private sector participation in sustainable development by providing the opportunity for local and foreign investors to participate in the implementation of these projects, thus achieving sustainable development, providing job opportunities for young people and supporting local products. This will help achieve the strategic objectives of Vision 2030 and the initiatives approved by the Saudi Council of Ministers to encourage private sector participation in economic development initiatives.”
Turki Al-Shehri, CEO of Engie in Saudi Arabia, said: “The Jubail 3B project represents another milestone achievement for Engie as a long-term positive energy partner to the Kingdom. We commend SWPC for continuing to encourage private sector participation to support the development of large-scale infrastructure projects. Through our projects, and in close coordination with our partners, Engie remains committed to providing value-added services and knowledge transfer to the local workforce.”
The consortium, led by low-carbon energy and service solution providers Engie, was awarded the Jubail 3B project in April, after submitting a successful bid with a tariff of SR1.591 ($0.42) per cubic meter of potable water.
The Jubail 3B IWP will create direct and indirect job opportunities during both the construction and operation phases, with a targeted 90 percent Saudization rate during the operation period.