Saudi Arabia sets out radical shake up of desalination policy

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture has earmarked $50 billion for new eight desalination plants, and aims to sell 29 existing facilities.

Saline Water Conversion Corporation's 29 existing desalination plants are sited on the east and west coasts of Saudi Arabia

Saline Water Conversion Corporation's 29 existing desalination plants are sited on the east and west coasts of Saudi Arabia

The ministry wants to sell the entire portfolio of 29 desalination plants that are owned by the government's Saline Water Conversion Corporation to private investors, and to build the new plants through public-private partnerships.

The two largest-capacity new projects, Rabigh 3 at 600,000 m3/d, and Jubail at 1,170,000 m3/d, will be tendered in the first quarter of 2017, and the remaining tenders will follow shortly after (see full list below). The programme of new plants covers total installed capacity of 2.6 million m3/d and 3,000 MW, and seven transmission systems with capacity of 4.3 million m3/d.

The 29 existing plants, situated on the east and west coasts of the country, have installed capacity of 4.6 million m3/d and 7,305 MW, and have 21 transmission systems.

The full list of proposed new projects is:

Rabigh 3, capacity 600,000 m3/d;

Jubail, capacity 1,170,000 m3/d;

Shuqaiq, capacity 380,000 m3/d;

Duba 4, capacity 9,000 m3/d;

Al Wajh 4, capacity 9,000 m3/d;

Yanbu, capacity 450,000 m3/d;

Umluj, capacity 18,000, m3/d; and

Haql, capacity 9,000 m3/d.


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