Saudi Arabia has offered new desalination projects worth SR36 billion (nearly US$10 billion) to private investors as part of its drive to fully privatize the sector, according to Fehaid Al-Sharief, governor of the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) and chairman of the Water & Electricity Company (WEC).
Addressing the second Middle East conference on water and electricity in Abu Dhabi, Al-Sharief said the new projects include four giant independent water and power producers (IWPPs) - Shuaiba Phase-3, Shuqaiq Phase-2, Ras Al-Zour and Jubail Phase-3 - which are estimated to cost SR23 billion.
According to Arab News, SWCC had earlier short-listed 11 firms for the Shuaiba project, which is estimated to cost between SR4.5 billion and SR5.6 billion.
The winner of the contract, to be announced shortly, will have a 60 percent stake in the project. The Public Investment Fund will hold 32 percent of shares and WEC eight percent. Shuaiba, located about 100 km south of Jeddah on the Red Sea, is the Kingdom’s second largest desalination plant.