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Saudi Arabia seeks private investment for 113 water projects

Dr Fuad Alsheikh Mubarak, CEO, NWC and Severino Ramos Aparici, general manager of Aguas de Valencia sign the contract for the Saudi water projects NWC
Dr Fuad Alsheikh Mubarak, CEO, NWC and Severino Ramos Aparici, general manager of Aguas de Valencia sign the contract to rehabilitate sewage treatment plants in the Taif region

The Saudi government-backed National Water Company (NWC) is seeking private investment in projects to upgrade 113 existing water and sewage treatment plants this year.

These plants will have a total capacity of 2.4 million cubic metres per day.

No estimate was given on the expected private sector investment.

As part of its long-term operation and maintenance programmes, NWC signed a 15-year contract worth SAR555 million ($148 million) with Spain’s Aguas de Valencia Company to rehabilitate, operate and maintain sewage treatment plants in the Taif region.

The two sewage plants have a total treatment capacity of 147,000 m3/day and received a levelised tariff bid of SAR0.67/m3.

NWC has already awarded eight contracts under the long-term operation and maintenance programme as part of the kingdom’s national water strategy.

The programme aims to attract major companies to rehabilitate existing assets for 15 years with capital investments at competitive prices.

Mohammed Al-Jadaan, Saudi minister of finance and chairman of the board of National Center for Privatization and PPP, said the kingdom has privatised 30 projects over the last five years. A pipeline of 200 projects spanning 17 sectors, involving more than $50 billion in investment, has been approved.

Last October the minister of health, Fahad bin Abdulrahman Al-Jalajel, said the country was to offer more than 100 projects over the next five years through PPPs, public-private partnerships.

Saudi Arabia has launched a swathe of giga-projects as it accelerates activity towards achieving its Vision 2030 economic diversification goals.

The country reported in November last year that it had signed off on $78 billion of construction projects in the first 10 months of the year.

Statistics provided by the Saudi Contractors Authority showed the total value of ongoing projects as of the end of October 2023 was $1.5 trillion.

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