Spanish and Japanese consortium win €750m desalination plant contract in Saudi Arabia

A consortium made up of Spanish infrastructure group Acciona, Japanese conglomerate Marubeni and Saudi Arabian companies Almar Water Solutions and Rawafid Alhadarah Holding has been awarded a €750m contract for a desalination plant in Saudi Arabia.

Located on the Red Sea coast, Shuqaiq 3 will be one of the country’s biggest desalination plants, capable of creating 450,000 cubic metres of drinking water per day, enough for two million people.

The consortium will be in charge of the design, financing and building of the plant, as well as its operation and maintenance for 25 years. Earlier this month, the consortium was named reserve bidder for Rabigh 3, the world’s largest desalination plant, also on the Red Sea coast.

Acciona says in a press release, it was selected for the contract because it offered a desalinated water price of $0.52 per cubic metre, "among the most competitive rates anywhere in the world".

The project is Acconia’s third desalination plant in Saudi Arabia. In July 2018 the firm won a contract with another state agency, Saline Water Conversion Corporation, to build a desalination plant in Khobar on the country’s east coast.

The Shuqaiq 3 plant is due to be completed by 2021.

Image courtesy of Acciona

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