Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC) has achieved financial closure for the Yanbu-4 independent water producer (IWP) plant in partnership with a consortium led by French energy major Engie (40 per cent) along with its Saudi partners Nesma (30 per cent) and Mowah (30 per cent).

Being built at an investment of SR3.1 billion ($826 million), the Yanbu-4 IWP is the first renewable integrated, seawater reverse osmosis project in the kingdom that includes storage facilities for two operational days.

The plant, which boasts a 450,000 cu m/day seawater desalination capacity, is located 140 km west of Madinah, near the town of Ar Rayyis, on the Red Sea coast of the kingdom.

The consortium, led by Engie, one of the world’s leading low-carbon energy and service solution providers, was awarded the Yanbu-4 project in February 2020 after submitting a successful bid with tariff of SR1.7446 halalas per cu m of produced water.

According to SWPC, the project is the first water project in Saudi Arabia developed under the public-private-partnership (PPP) structure and will achieve one of the most competitive specific power consumption levels in the kingdom.

As per the deal, it will develop and finance the desalination plant, which will be operated and maintained by Engie in Saudi Arabia.

The project will utilise reverse osmosis technology to supply potable water to the cities of Makkah and Madinah. The project will include solar energy units generating 20 MW of power to reduce grid electricity consumption throughout the desalination process, as well as water storage tanks.

The Engie consortium will develop the project on a BOO (build, own and operate) model with a concession term of 25 years with commercial operation expected in the last quarter of 2023.

“Despite the fluctuations, liquidity crises and changing global market conditions, SWPC and the Engie consortium succeeded in completing the financial closure procedures in close cooperation with the group of lenders, which indicates the company’s efforts,” remarked its CEO Engineer Khalid Al Quraishi.

“We will provide full support for investment projects, and enhance private sector participation in sustainable development by providing the opportunity for local and foreign investors to participate in the implementation of these projects, thus achieving sustainable development, providing job opportunities for young people, and supporting local product and balanced development,” he added.