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Saudi Arabia signs agreements for Jubail 3B desalination project

Saudi Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture and Chairman of the Board of Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC) Abdulrahman Al Fadli has signed project agreements for the 570,000 cubic metres per day (m3/day) Jubail 3B Independent Water Plant (IWP) with the winning consortium of Engie, Nesma and Ajlan, SWPC announced via its twitter account on Tuesday.

The  consortium had submitted a tariff of 1.59149 Saudi riyals/m3, equivalent to $0.41/m3, for the reverse osmosis (RO)-based desalination project. 

Jubail 3B IWP will supply potable water to Riyadh and Qassim, and is scheduled to commence operations in the first quarter of 2024, a related infograph tweeted by SWPC said. It said the project is expected to cost $695 million.

According to the infograph, out of the 55 companies that had responded to the Expression of Interest notice, 10 companies/consortiums were prequalified. Four consortiums that included 6 local companies and 4 international companies submitted proposals for the project.

It said the local content stipulated for the project will increase from 40 percent in the construction phase to 50 percent during the first five years of operation and to 70 percent for the remaining years of the project's 25-year concession period.

The 25-year Water Purchase Agreement between SWPC and the consortium was signed on the 22 June 2021.

The desalination plant will be operated and maintained by Engie, which owns 40 percent of the project company with Nesma Company and Abdulaziz Al Ajlan Sons for Commercial and Real Estate Investment Company owning 30 percent each, according to Engie's press statement.