ACWA Power wins world’s largest independent water desalination plant

ACWA Saudi1ACWA Power, developer, owner and operator of power generation and water desalination plants, has won the largest independent water desalination plant, Rabigh 3 IWP – further expanding its desalination capacity in Saudi Arabia

The water purchase agreement was signed by Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al-Fadley, minister of environment, water and agriculture and chairman of water and electricity company (WEC) as it will act as the off-taker of the project.

Amongst 55 expressions of interest and five bidders, ACWA Power submitted the lowest tariff at US$0.53/cu/m and was selected to develop the desalination plant alongside the Saudi Brothers Commercial Company (SBCC) in Rabigh, Saudi Arabia. Rabigh 3 IWP will utilise reverse osmosis (RO) technology to yield a capacity of 600,000 cu/m per day.

The innovative design of this plant ensures the highest efficiency, reliability and availability for any comparable plant in the world. The water output will cater to the water demand of Makkah al-Mukarramah and Jeddah. This will ensure consistent, reliable and steady water supply to the citizens of the two cities and village, especially during demand peak periods such as the Holy Month of Ramadan and Hajj seasons.

Chairman of ACWA Power Mohammad Abunayyan said, “We take extreme pride in securing another milestone in the kingdom that contributes to the welfare of Saudi Arabia’s economy and its citizens. As a private company, we work continuously to guarantee the right investment is being injected through private-public partnerships to achieve the ambitious goals of the Saudi Vision 2030.

“Rabigh 3 IWP will deliver potable water at the lowest cost achieved to date for RO while consuming the least amount of power for each cubic meter of water produced and is consequently another important step in elevating living standards in the kingdom. Rabigh 3 IWP will contribute to economic progress and increased employment opportunities, helping the kingdom reach the highest levels of prosperity.”

Managing director of ACWA Power Thamer Al Sharhan added, “The world’s largest reverse osmosis desalination plant validates the thesis that a local developer places the interests of the home country as its utmost priority. Offering the lowest tariffs without compromising on the reliability of water supply while ensuring affordable clean water access to the citizens of Makkah al-Mukarramah and Jeddah.” 

The Rabigh 3 IWP is being procured under a 25-year build-own-operate (BOO) contract and will commence commercial operation on the 31 December 2021.

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