The project was awarded by Water and Electricity Company (WEC), the state-owned company in charge of desalination and water treatment projects, to the Acciona consortium which comprises partners Marubeni Corporation, Abdul Latif Jameel-CDC and Rawafid Alhadarah Holding Company, said a statement from Acciona.
The Spanish group said one of its business units, Acciona Agua, will be involved throughout the project structure: as an investor, sole EPC (turnkey) contractor, and leading and majority partner in operation and maintenance.
The project, Acciona Agua's biggest so far in Saudi Arabia, will be implemented under a BOO (build, own and operate) model.
The Spanish conglomerate was chosen for the project owing to its considerable experience in major desalination projects worldwide and also for the lowest bid offer of $0.52 per cu m of desalinated water, which is among the cheapest in the world, it stated.
Located in the country's southwest, on the shores of the Red Sea, and scheduled for completion in 2021, Shuqaiq 3 will be one of Saudi Arabia's biggest desalination plants, using inverse osmosis technology and with a capacity to process 450,000 cu m per day, to cater for a population of two million people.
It will also incorporate a solar photovoltaic facility to reduce its specific power consumption, said the developer.
As part of the project's social outreach measures, in the first few years the consortium will offer academic and practical training to residents of the area in order to nurture the development of water industry professionals in a region so in need of projects of this kind, said the statement from Acciona.
This is Acciona's third desalination plant in Saudi Arabia, enabling the company to provide some three million people with water.
In July last year, Acciona Agua had won the contract to build the Al Khobar 1 desalination plant, in kingdom's east coast, about 400 km from Riyadh.
This turnkey project, with a one-year warranty, is valued at more than €200 million and is the first project of this kind to be commissioned by government corporation Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) from a Spanish company.
The facility will have a capacity to serve a population of 350,000. The plant will also supply water to Aramco, the world's largest oil company, it stated.
In 2012, Acciona was awarded the contract to design, build and commission the Al Jubail seawater desalination plant, which since 2015 serves both the city and the industrial complex in the country's eastern province.
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