Saudi Water Partnerships Company (SWPC) has announced that the consortiums of Spanish infrastructure major Acciona and Saudi power and desalination projects developer Acwa Power as well as French multinational utility group Engie are in the race for Rabigh 4 Independent Water Project (IWP).

The project, to be located 180 km northwest of Makkah on the Red Sea coast in the Western Province, will include the desalination plant and all associated infrastructure and facilities. Once completed, it will boast a total capacity of 600,000 cu m/day.

TradeArabia had earlier reported that a total of 39 utility project developer consortiums, including 21 local firms, had expressed their interests in developing the key reverse osmosis (RO) seawater desalination plant in Rabigh.

These included Spanish infrastructure majors – GS Inima Environment, Acciona Agua, and Cobra; French utility expert Veolia and Italian group Fisia Italimpianti in addition to Hydro Industries (UK); Aquatech International (US); Marubeni (Japan); J&P (Cyprus) and VA Tech Wabag (India).

Of these Expressions of Interests (EoIs), 21 are from Saudi companies including regional utility giant Acwa Power, Al Bawani Water & Power as well as Marafiq, Sajco, Alfanar, Nesma, AlKawther Industries, Mowah, Haaco and National Water Works.

In addition, some GCC players such as Metito Utilities and Utico (UAE); Elsewedy (Egypt) and Bahrain-based Lamar Holding too had set sights on the project.

However, SWPC last week confirmed that only three had made it to the final round. These are

*Acciona with consortium partner Saudi group Ajlan & Brothers Company;

*Acwa with Haji Hussein Ali Reda and Partners Company and Almoayyed Contracting Group

*French multinational utility group Engie

According to SWPC, the winning developer/developer consortium will be responsible for the development, financing, procurement, implementation and operation and maintenance of Rabigh4 project.

Through a special purpose vehicle, it will develop the project and sell the entire capacity and output to SWPC under a 25-year concession pursuant to a Water Purchase Agreement. The project is due for completion in Q4 2025.

For the project, SWPC’s professional advisors are KPMG Professional Services (lead and financial advisor); Eversheds Sutherland (International) as legal advisor and WSP as technical advisor.