Saudi outlines privatised future for desalination and reuse

Saudi Arabia will tender desalination projects to private investors in the future, reports Saudi-US Trade Group (SUSTG).

The move was confirmed in comments made by officials from Saudi’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, and Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), at the Water Investment Forum in capital city Riyadh on 27 and 28 November 2016.

Ali Al-Hazmi, head of SWCC, reportedly said that desalination plants will, in future, be tendered to the private sector, and “everything is ready” for SWCC itself to be privatised. SWCC operates 28 desalination plants, and is the world’s largest producer of desalinated water.

Minister of environment, water and agriculture, Abdul Rahman Al-Fadli, added that recycled water will be used in the future for industry and agriculture.

Overall, Saudi wants to attract SAR 200 billion ($53 billion) in private investment in its water sector. “We are envisaging that the capital requirements in the next five years will reach up to SAR 200 billion,” said deputy minister of environment, water and agriculture, Mansour Al-Mushaiti.