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Saudi signs new power and water project for US$4.2bn

Saudi Arabia announced that it had signed contracts amounting to US$4.2bn for the construction of the Ras Az Zawr power and water plant, reported Saudi media.

Abdullah Al-Hussayen, Saudi Arabia's minister of water and power and chairman of state-owned Saline Water Conversion Corp (SWCC), signed a US$2.2bn deal with a group led by Al-Arrab Contracting Co to build the power plant on the country's Gulf coast. The group includes China's Sepco III Electric Power Construction Corp. The Chinese company and Al-Arrab were awarded the contract in September.

The power plant has a planned capacity of 2,400MW and will be able to generate up to 2,750MW. It will be completed in 42 months, reported Samer Arafa, executive vice president of Al-Arrab. The power plant will be linked with a water desalination facility, for which a US$1.7bn contract was signed with a consortium of South Korea's Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction Co Ltd and Saudi Archirodon Ltd.

Doosan said its contract was worth US$1.4bn to build the water plant, expected to be the world's largest when it comes on stream in 2014. The plant will produce 1.025 million cubic meters of desalinated water per day. SWCC will take 1 billion liters of the plant's water production capacity. Saudi Arabian Mining Co (Ma'aden) will take 1,350MW of the project's power, and 1,050MW will be allocated to Saudi Electricity Co (SEC).

Ras Az Zawr is also home to the construction of a US$10.8bn aluminum project which is being built by Maaden and US aluminum company Alcoa Inc. and is expected to be completed in 2014.