Infrastructure News


BOO contract is signed to build and operate world's largest desalination plant

The Water and Electricity Company of Saudi Arabia has announced that it has signed the agreement for Rabigh 3 Independent Water Project with the winning consortium of ACWA Power International and Saudi Brothers' Commercial Company.

The project will deliver the largest independent water desalination plant in the world. Located in Rabigh, on the central Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia, the plant will utilize reverse osmosis technology to yield a capacity of 600,000 cubic metres a day.

The parties have signed a water purchase agreement for the facility, with WEC acting as the offtaker of the project. Amongst 55 expressions of interest and five bidders, the ACWA Power-led consortium submitted the lowest tariff at US$0.53/m3. This is the lowest cost achieved to date for reverse osmosis technology.

The water output will cater to the demand of Makkah al-Mukarramah and Jeddah. This will ensure reliable water supply for residents, especially during demand peak periods such as the Holy Month of Ramadan and Hajj seasons.

The plant is being delivered under a 25-year build-own-operate (BOO) contract and will commence commercial operation on 31 December 2021.