Global infrastructure giant Acciona has announced that its consortium with Spanish group Aqualia and Saudi firms Tawzea and Haaco has formally begun the management, operation and maintenance of the South Cluster end-to-end water cycle covering the regions of Asir, Jazan, Baha and Najran for the next seven years with the celebration of a project launch ceremony.
The region, known as the South Cluster, covers these four provinces in the south of Saudi Arabia with a population of over five million and a surface area equivalent to half of Spain (240,000 sq km).
Since the consortium was chosen by the Saudi National Water Company (NWC), a team of 40 highly qualified and multidisciplinary experts has been selected and trained. Their knowledge and experience are one of the keys to the success of the project, said Acciona in a statement.
The consortium has chosen a multidisciplinary and multinational team of 39 experts to lead the project, it added.
This team will optimize the operations and management of water services in this immense southern Saudi region and implement the social, environmental and economic sustainability goals of the project.
South Cluster Project Director Antonio Olivas said: "The profiles that make up the consortium are highly specialized and experienced, which is why their selection has been particularly complex in a global labor market in which companies compete to attract talent."
"However, the correct selection of these specialists is one of the keys to the successful execution of the project. People are what will make this project something different," he stated.
According to him, the area is one of the six clusters or territories in Saudi Arabia into which the NWC has divided the country to make progress towards better management of water supply and sanitation services.
The ultimate aim of this government programme is to incentivise the participation of the private sector in the management of water and sanitation in the country and generally improve their efficiency.
The contract, which involves a public-private partnership with the state-owned NWC in charge of these services, covers the management of 59 drinking water plants, 380 storage tanks, 330 pumping stations, 127 tanker filling stations, 20,000 kilometres of mains piping, 43 wastewater treatment plants and 7,000 km of collection networks, among other assets.
Within the Saudi Vision 2030 plan, which seeks the modernization and sustainable development of the country, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (Mewa) has developed a National Water Strategy (NWS 2030) that addresses the main challenges of the sector through policies and institutional reform initiatives.
As a result of this process, the NWC was authorized to carry out an integrated program to attract the private sector to improve the efficiency of the service.
The program aims to carry out a restructuring of the national water system in six regional distribution entities (cluster). For the development of this process there are specialized private companies.-TradeArabia News Service