Saudi’s colossal desalination development moves ahead with pre-qualified companies

Feb. 2, 2018
A total of nine developers have now been prequalified for the 600,000 m3/day Rabigh 3 independent water project...
Above: The Rabigh 3 development will provide cities, including Mecca, with potable water

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia - The much anticipated Rabigh 3 independent water project (IWP) being developed by Saudi Arabia’s Water & Electricity (WEC) is moving along to potentially become one of the largest desalination developments in the world.

A total of nine developers have now been pre-qualified for the 600,000 m3/day project, expected to be commissioned by October 2021.

The nine pre-qualified groups, with lead developer listed first, include:

- Valoriza

- Veolia, Marafiq, Amwal al-Khaleej, Advanced Water

- Suez Group, El-Seif Engineering, Gulf Investment Corporation

- Malakoff

- Marubeni, Acciona Agua, Abdul Latif Jameel (Almar Water Solutions), Rawafid Holding


- Engie

- Acwa Power

- Engie.

As reported by WWi, the EOIs were invited back in August 2017. The Rabigh development has had an overwhelming response, with WEC reported to have received as many as 55 expressions of interest (EOI).

With a 25-year concession period and WEC as the water off-taker, the project will use reverse osmosis technology with a starting capacity of 600,000 m3/day, expandable to 1.2 million cubic metres.

At the initial capacity of 600,000 m3/day, Rabigh 3 would be slightly smaller than Israel’s 625,000 m3/day Sorek SWRO development. However, if the expansion goes ahead – it would jump the project to become one of the largest membrane-based seawater desalination developments globally.

Saudi cities Jeddah, Mecca, Taif and surrounding villages will all receive potable water from the Rabigh 3 development.

To be developed under a DBO model (design, build, and operate and maintain), the technical adviser for the Rabigh 3 project will be Fichtner GmbH & Co. KG, with Banque Saudi Fransi acting as the financial adviser.


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Mega reverse osmosis desalination project EOI invited for Rabigh 3, Saudi Arabia

About the Author

Tom Freyberg

Tom Freyberg is an experienced environmental journalist, having worked across a variety of business-to-business titles. Since joining Pennwell in 2010, he has been influential in developing international partnerships for the water brand and has overseen digital developments, including 360 degree video case studies. He has interviewed high level figures, including NYSE CEO’s and Environmental Ministers. A known figure in the global water industry, Tom has chaired and spoken at conferences around the world, from Helsinki, to London and Singapore. An English graduate from Exeter University, Tom completed his PMA journalism training in London.