Saudi ACWA Power to develop $677m desalination project 

Saudi ACWA Power to develop $677m desalination project 
The agreements were signed by Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al-Fadhli, Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture with Chairman of the SWPC, and Mohammad Abunayyan, Chairman of ACWA Power. (Supplied)
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Updated 13 April 2023

Saudi ACWA Power to develop $677m desalination project 

Saudi ACWA Power to develop $677m desalination project 

RIYADH: Saudi energy firm ACWA Power has signed a water purchase agreement for the 600,000-cubic meter per day Rabigh 4 Independent Water Plant to be located on Kingdom’s Red Sea coast. 

The Saudi Water Partnership Co, a government off-taker, will be the sole buyer of services for the project, the company said in a press release. 

In a bourse filing on Wednesday, ACWA Power said the 25-year WPA was signed between its partly owned project company Rawabi Water Desalination Co. and SWPC for the development, construction, operation and ownership of the water desalination plant using reverse osmosis technology.  

The agreement also involves developing associated infrastructure and facilities of the plant including potable water tanks with a capacity of 1,200,000 cubic meters.

ACWA Power in the statement has put the contract value at SR2.54 billion ($677 million) while adding that the financial close for the project is expected during the third quarter of 2023.  

ACWA Power, a Public Investment Fund-backed firm, currently operates as many as 16 desalination plants across four countries; 10 of which are situated in the Kingdom. 

Mohammad Abunayyan, chairman of ACWA Power, said: “Our commitment to developing efficient and reliable projects that meet the practical water needs of the community has played a significant role in our contribution towards Saudi Arabia's clean water strategy, including supplying nearly a third of the nation's water needs.”   

“As we move forward, we remain dedicated to advancing our support with our upcoming facility, which will set a new standard in terms of capacity and sustainability,” the chairman stressed. 

The project is designed in such a way that allows it to use less electricity, lower operating costs, and back domestic content in terms of supply chain and employment, according to SWPC CEO Khalid bin Zuwaid Al-Quraishi. 

The plant – which is set to become operational in 2026 – will display the impact of reverse osmosis technology in action, according to Al-Quraishi.  

The plant is also projected to boost the capacity in the Rabigh area by 100 percent. 

“These agreements will achieve the goals for water production projects in partnership with the private sector that supplies industries, communities, and people across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said the Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al-Fadhli, in a statement. 

“We expect that Rabigh 4 will directly serve pilgrims from around the world in the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah and serve households in the wider region,” Al-Fadhli added. 

ACWA Power said its mission is to ensure the ingenuity and entrepreneurship of the private sector and make available electricity and desalinated water in a reliable and responsible manner to support the social development and economic growth of nations.