Atkins to help Saudi Arabia privatise municipal water supply

Atkins has won procurement advisory services contract from Saudi Arabia’s state-owned National Water Company (NWC) as part of a consortium to provide water distribution services.

The project is part of a privatisation strategy intended to lower cost and improve efficiency in the municipal water and wastewater provision, in the face of rising demand.

The consortium is led by financial consultant Mizuho Bank and supported by legal consultant White & Case.

"With significant infrastructure development and forecast growth in cities, towns and communities, the distribution of water and guarantee of supply is critical," said Francois-Xavier Basselot, market director for SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins’ water business in the Middle East and Africa.

"Through these flagship projects, the NWC, with support from the consortium, will have better water network coverage, better wastewater service coverage and will enable a better understanding about the importance of water conservation.

"Ultimately this is about ensuring the sustainability of the water sector in the Kingdom."

Atkins will provide advice on the water distribution model, design of the procurement strategy and design of the competitive procurement process for operators.

Saudi Arabia has embarked on a programme of modernising its industrial base, and promoting privatisation to reduce public spending.

SNC-Lavalin acquired WS Atkins plc last July.

Image: Al Khobar Water Tower, Saudi Arabia (Wikimedia Commons)

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