US $500m Al Khobar 2 desalination plant to be constructed in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi publicly-owned company Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) has awarded ACCIONA and its partner RTCC a US $500m contract for the construction of the Al Khobar 2 desalination plant at Khobar, on the east coast of Saudi Arabia around 400km from Riyadh.

The project

The facility will be equipped with reverse osmosis technology and a daily capacity of more than 600,000 m³, making it one of the biggest in the country and the largest RO plant under EPC scheme awarded in a single shot in KSA. It will provide a service to three million people in the area. ACCIONA thus consolidates its presence in the water treatment sector in Saudi Arabia, a country in which it currently has three projects under way.

Last year, a contract of about US $813.8m was awarded for the financing, design, construction, operation and maintenance (for 25 years) of the Shuqaiq3 desalination plant. Located in the south-west of the country on the Red Sea coast, it is expected to be completed sometime in 2021 and will have a treatment capacity of 450,000 m³ per day to provide a service to a population equivalent of two million. It will also be equipped with a photovoltaic plant to reduce internal energy consumption.

In July 2018, a contract was also awarded for around US $217m to build and commission the Al Khobar 1 desalination plant (capacity: 210,000 m³ per day). It is located close to the Al Khobar 2 plant and serves a population of 1,000,000.

The company has also designed and built the Al Jubail RO4 seawater desalination plant in the east of the country for the utility Marafiq. With a capacity of 100,000 m³ per day, it serves both the city and the nearby industrial complex.


Saudi’s Red Sea Project reaches key milestone

Key sites identified for villas, hotels and restaurants on Sheybarah South and Ummahat Al Shaykh islands

Work to identify locations for villas, restaurants and hotel arrival points for two hyper-luxury hotels and one luxury hotel on Sheybarah South and Ummahat Al Shaykh islands, as part of the multi-billion-dollar Red Sea Project in Saudi Arabia.

The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), the developer behind the ambitious tourism project, marked the key sites in line with the master plan, over a three-week period.

“The marking of locations for our overwater assets is another milestone reached for the project, and is indicative of the progress being made at the site,” said John Pagano, CEO, TRSDC.

“This activity was an essential step in the identification of suitable locations which will allow our hotels and other assets to coexist in harmony with their surroundings while providing our visitors with an immersive experience and stunning views.”

The work was carried out in order to minimise the impact on the existing environment, particularly invaluable coral reefs.

The placing of buoys required careful coordination by the teams, which included local experienced boat captains to navigate among the coral reefs, along with the TRSDC construction team.

The process also required an on-boat crew handling the buoys and concrete blocks, working with the surveyors, as well as snorkelers and scuba divers, to ensure no corals were damaged in the process.

“It has provided an essential visual aid for the TRSDC executive management team and our global design teams to get a feel for the resort planning, proximity to the near shore islands and the customer experience” said Ian Williamson, chief development officer, TRSDC.

Buoys were secured by divers, using concrete blocks carefully placed to avoid the coral communities on the seabed. Following the placement of the marker buoys, the site team deployed drones to take footage and mark their location using global positioning system (GPS) coordinates to enable the company’s executives, designers, and engineers to refine and conclude the master planning process.

The Red Sea Project will welcome its first guests by the end of 2022. The first phase of the development will include 14 luxury hotels offering 3,000 rooms across five islands and two inland locations. It will also include entertainment facilities, an airport, and the necessary supporting logistics and utilities infrastructure.

Work is already underway at the destination with the development of key supporting infrastructure and accommodation for the workforce and company employees deployed to manage construction.

Upon completion in 2030, the destination will deliver up to 8,000 hotel rooms across 22 islands and six inland sites.


Red Sea Project breaks the ground on a coastal village

RIYADH — The developer behind Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Project has begun phase one of its operations breaking ground on the construction of a 1.5 million sq. meter coastal village area which will house workers, staff and management of the mega-city project.

The construction of the coastal village is being done in partnership with HUTA Hegerfield and Saudconsult and hss begun with infilling of the land and ground improvement several days ago.

“Teams on the site are currently raising the ground level to 3.5m above sea level. Every day, we transfer some 10,000m3 of earth and compact about 7,000m2 of land. The Coastal Village will be home to 14,000 employees from The Red Sea Project community when the first phase of the destination opens and we will provide the highest quality accommodation and a wide range of facilities, whilst meeting our own stringent environmental standards,” according to a press release.

The Red Sea Project is a planned megacity on Saud Arabia’s western coast and will cover 28,000 sq. km in total area including 200 km of coastline. The city will welcome its first visitors by the end of 2022 and will be fully completed by 2030.

The project is one of Saudi Arabia’s three mega-projects aimed at boosting its tourism sector announced in October 2017, along with the megacity NEOM and Amaala, another resort on the Red Sea.


Spanish company to build second largest desalination plant in Saudi Arabia

Spanish company Abengoa, in consortium with SEPCOIII is set to construct a 600,000m3 / day desalination plant in Saudi Arabia; the second largest plant with reverse osmosis technology in the country. Specifically, the company will be responsible for the engineering, supply and construction of the Jubail 3A reverse osmosis desalination plant, located to the south of the city of the same name, in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia, in the northeast of the country.

The plant will have the same capacity as the Rabigh III plant already under construction and will guarantee the supply of drinking water to the Eastern provinces, Riyadh and Qassim throughout the year. The project contemplates the construction of tanks for the storage of treated water with a capacity of one day of production, as well as a photovoltaic solar field, which will reduce, in a sustainable way, the energy consumption of the desalination plant network.

Scope of the project

The scope of the project includes the capture of seawater, pumping, pre-treatment, reverse osmosis system with energy recovery, post-treatment, pumping station, product water storage, effluent treatment, discharge through outfall and photovoltaic solar field, as well as associated electrical installations that include the construction of a 380/33 kV electrical substation.

The project is part of the Saudi government’s program to promote private participation in the country’s water sector. The developer consortium consists of ACWA Power, Gulf Investment Corporation and Al Bawani Water & Power Company. Desalinated water will be supplied to the state-owned Saudi Water Partnership Company, promoter of this project.

Jubail’s will be Abengoa’s third desalination plant to be built in Saudi Arabia and the seventh in the Middle East. With it, it consolidates its leadership position in the desalination sector worldwide, with an installed capacity of 1.7 million m 3 / day, which will expand to 4.3 million when the portfolio in execution is completed.

In the Middle East, Abengoa is currently building the world’s largest reverse osmosis desalination plant, located in the Taweelah power and water generation complex, with a production capacity of 909,000 m 3 / day, and the desalination plant in the Emirates Global Aluminiun (EGA) of more than 41,000 m 3 / day, both in the United Arab Emirates, as well as the 600,000 m Rabigh III desalination plants3 / day also in Saudi Arabia and the 114,000 m 3 / day Salalah desalination plant in Oman.


Saudi’s Sakani starts two projects, provides 8,083 housing units

The Obhur Park project will provide 8,000 apartment units, while the Mogan Village project will offer 83 villa units

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Housing-led Sakani programme has launched two under-construction housing projects in the Jeddah governorate, in partnership with the private sector, which will provide 8,083 housing units to eligible citizens.

This raises the number of projects under construction to 14 in the Makkah’s Al-Mukarramah region, which will provide a total of approximately 63,000 housing units.

The initiative is in line with kingdom’s vision to help Saudi families find and own homes through simple and affordable electronic procedures, with immediate entitlement without waiting.

The Sakani programme has called on Saudi nationals wishing to own property in the Jeddah governorate to visit the Sakani website; view the details of the units; and book the residential units electronically, or call the unified call centre (199-090) for inquiries about the two projects.

The Obhur Park project – which is located in the northern part of the Jeddah governorate at the intersection of King Saud and Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Street – will provide 8,000 apartment-type residential units under construction, on a total area exceeding 1,145km2.

The built-up area of the residential units will range from 125m2 to 256m2, with total price of the units starting from $108,000 (SAR406,000) and monthly instalments starting at $360 (SAR1,355).

The Mogan Village project – which is also located in the northern part of Jeddah on a total area of ​​28,300m2 – will include 83 villa-type residential units under construction, with prices starting from $253,000 (SAR950,160), and monthly instalments starting at $843 (SAR3,167)

The projects will be characterised by the integration of infrastructure and services such as electricity, water, and sewage, as well as sidewalks, lighting, a torrential drainage system, and the availability of services and public facilities.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Housing aims to increase residential ownership among its citizens to 70% by 2030. More than 57 housing projects at various stages of construction are being developed in various regions of the kingdom, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

The Sakani programme provides Saudi nationals with access to residential plots, self-construction residential housing, prefabricated housing units, and under construction housing units, among other options.


Giant Projects in Saudi Arabia Unaffected by Coronavirus

A joint Saudi-US report expected smooth flow of giant projects in Saudi Arabia, despite the challenges imposed by the coronavirus outbreak and the implications of falling oil prices in global markets.

According to the report, published by the US-Saudi Arabian Business Council (USSABC) and a copy of which was obtained by Asharq Al-Awsat, the volume of construction contracts awarded in the past year amounted to 197.1 billion riyals ($ 52 billion).

More so, the Red Sea Development Company is bent on raising the value of the contracts it is awarding to more than double in 2020, from 2.3 billion riyals ($ 613 million) in 2019 to 6.8 billion riyals ($ 1.8 billion) in 2020.

The report also added that the Qiddiya Investment Company recently disclosed plans to accelerate its activities to meet the big opening date scheduled in 2023. This comes with spending estimated at about 19 billion riyals ($ 5 billion). The initial statement of the 2020 budget expected the doubling of spending in 2020 compared to 2019.

The construction sector’s contribution to GDP is another sign of the sector’s revival. In real terms, the construction sector grew by 1.28 percent quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter and by an impressive 4.4 percent year-on-year. As the awarded contracts enter the implementation phase coupled with the Ministry of Finance’s expectation that mega projects will double in 2020, the construction sector will return to being a significant contributor to the Kingdom’s economy.

Despite the major challenges, the USSABC index showed that contract awards were ready to continue moving above the 200-point threshold during the year 2020.

“The value of contracts awarded during the year 2019 witnessed a remarkable increase after years of spending cuts,” USSABC Economist Albaraa al-Wazeer told Asharq Al-Awsat, noting that despite the slight slowdown in awarding contracts during the fourth quarter of 2019, the focus on improving the infrastructure in the Kingdom, and the accompanying boost in private sector participation, the total value of awarded contracts was recorded at 197.1 billion riyals ($ 52.6 billion), the highest annual value since 2015.


Saudi’s construction deals soar to record $52.6bln in 2019

Value of awarded contracts highest in four years, up 95% over a year earlier

The construction sector in Saudi Arabia staged a strong rebound during 2019 as the government unveiled a series of reforms, with awarded contracts for numerous projects hitting their highest value in four years.

Approximately 197.1 billion Saudi riyals ($52.6 billion) in deals were awarded last year, the highest amount since 2015 and marking an impressive 95 percent increase over 2018, according to the US-Saudi Business Council.

Real estate firms emerged as a clear winner, bagging numerous deals throughout 2019, followed by those in the oil and gas sector.

As of the fourth quarter of 2019, the real estate sector captured approximately 12.1 billion riyals ($3.2 billion) in contracts, the majority of which (94 percent) are for the construction of residential projects.

The oil and gas sector recorded the second-highest value of awarded contracts during the same period, with 7.7 billion riyals ($2 billion) in deals.

The water sector landed the third spot, with approximately 6.3 billion riyals ($1.7 billion) in contracts.

According to the US-Saudi Business Council, the numerous initiatives and reforms in the kingdom fueled the growth in the construction sector last year.

“The kingdom’s drive to enhance both physical and social infrastructure capabilities through numerous vision realisation programmes was evident this past year,” the council said.

“These positive developments, which came to fruition in 2019, are expected to expand in the coming years to achieve the kingdom’s medium to long-term Vision 2030 targets,” it added.

Saudi Arabia has recently unveiled a series of reforms and initiatives in line with its economic diversification agenda and objective to open up the market to foreign investors.

Among the largest deal closed last year was the construction of more than 21,000 homes on a 1.41 million-square-metre site in Jeddah, which was awarded by the Ministry of Housing to Laseef Alfajar

The ministry also awarded last year the construction of a housing complex in Riyadh, which will consist of more than 5,000 townhouses and close to 600 apartments, as well as 14 mosques, eight schools and over a dozen gardens in Riyadh.


Malaysia’s Eversendai wins $116m worth contracts in Saudi, Morocco

In Saudi Arabia the company won a contract for a facility control centre and an administrative building project

Malaysian contractor Eversendai Corporation Berhad has secured $116m worth of contracts for projects in the Middle East including in Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and other countries.

With the addition of the new contract wins, the company’s outstanding construction order book totalled to all-time high of $631.1m.

According to Eversendai, in Saudi Arabia the company won a contract for a facility control centre and an administrative building project for a “well-known” metro station. Meanwhile, in Morocco the contract was awarded for a 55-storey commercial tower project.

Speaking about the contract wins, executive chairman and group managing director of Eversendai Corporation Berhad, Tan Sri A K Nathan, said: “Our entry into North Africa is another testament of sustaining our fundamental values and capitalising on long established client relationships in delivering projects without compromise.”

According information published on its website, the company was awarded a contract for the a suspension bridge project in King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) in Saudi Arabia in September 2019.


Saudi’s ACWA Power Signs $2.5bn Deals To Strengthen Uzbekistan’s Energy

The agreements include a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and Investment Agreement – with a total investment value of US$1.2 billion – for the development/construction/operation of a 1500 MW Combined Cycle Gas-Turbine (CCGT) power plant

ACWA Power has announced the signing of three new strategic agreements, potentially worth up to $2.5bn, with The Ministry of Energy of Uzbekistan to amplify power generation and develop technical expertise.

The agreements include a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and Investment Agreement – with a total investment value of US$1.2 billion – for the development/construction/operation of a 1500 MW Combined Cycle Gas-Turbine (CCGT) power plant

The deal also includes an Implementation Agreement worth US$550 million-US$1.1 billion for the building of wind power plants with a capacity of 500-1000 MW

It also includes a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the development of a training centre to enhance technical skills of Uzbek students and professionals

The 1500 MW CCGT power plant shall contribute to Uzbekistan’s fast track ambitious plan to attract foreign direct investment in essential key sectors and the implementation of its energy diversification strategy.

The project will be located in Shirin City in the Sirdarya region and will be developed as a ‘Build, Own, Operate, Transfer’ projects. ACWA Power will take the lead in constructing, engineering, operating and maintaining the plant.

The project has an estimated aggregate worth of US$1.2 billion. The PPA has a 25-year duration, with JSC National Electric Grids of Uzbekistan acting as the sole off-taker. The CCGT plant’s efficiency rate will be in excess of 60% – saving almost twice the natural gas currently used for electricity production. The Investment Agreement for this project is signed with the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade.

An implementation agreement worth US$550 million-US$1.1 billion has also been signed with the Ministry of Energy to utilise Uzbekistan’s natural renewable energy sources. The agreement envisages the development, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of a 500-1000 MW wind farm.

The third agreement is an MoU between the Ministry of Energy of Uzbekistan, Air Products & Chemicals and ACWA Power.

This agreement entails training programs to bolster the technical expertise of students and professionals at one or more colleges in Uzbekistan. It will equip potential talent with the tools and knowledge to gradually support a local supply chain for the utilities and chemicals sectors in Uzbekistan.

The agreements reflect Uzbekistan’s growing role in the global energy market, its commitment to energy security and use of the latest technologies. It also demonstrates Uzbekistan is becoming an attractive destination for foreign investors.

“With infrastructure development key to our economic progress, we want the best international expertise to support our ambitious energy goals. We have chosen ACWA Power to be the government’s partner in upscaling Uzbekistan’s energy generation capacity because of their exceptional track record in delivering results,” said Abdulla Aripov, Prime Minister of Uzbekistan.

“Our collaboration with ACWA Power will enable the government to benefit from the strong private sector participation which we believe is vital for Uzbekistan’s ongoing transformation and growth. We look forward to working with ACWA Power and building on this partnership in the future,” Aripov elaborated.

Minister of Energy of Uzbekistan, Alisher Sultanov said: “These newly agreed power projects represent a historic milestone for Uzbekistan and support our mission to strengthen energy security through self-sufficient power sources. ACWA Power’s focus on smart, energy efficient technologies will provide more than 2000 MW of added power and enable us to achieve a more sustainable, secure and affordable energy ecosystem for our country.”

ACWA Power Chairman, Mohammad Abunayyan said: “With our relentless pursuit to align with the pillars of the Saudi Vision 2030 and contribute effectively to achieving its aspirations and goals, we are moving forward on our path of global growth through expanding our geographical footprint and presence in the central Asia. The market in this part of the world is thriving with economic activity that will stimulate private sector investment and participation in the energy sector.

“With our proven track record as a global leader in the sectors of power generation and water desalination, with in-depth knowledge and expertise, we are proud to have been granted this opportunity to build strategic partnerships with the Uzbek government. Our partnership will deepen the friendly economic relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Uzbekistan, and will allow us to utilize our capabilities to unlock the tremendous growth potential of the energy sector in Uzbekistan.”

Abunayyan noted that the signing of the three agreements with the Uzbek government highlights the pivotal role of the Saudi private sector in the Saudi economy and in fortifying the base of Saudi investments abroad as well as fruitful economic relations between Saudi Arabia and friendly countries.

Abunayyan concluded that the agreements inked with the Uzbek government will contribute to creating job opportunities, developing community and achieving a sustainable future for the country.


Saudi ministry opens 25,000 housing units for reservation

The under-construction units in the 12 residential projects cost between $66,600 (SAR250,000) and $200,000 (SAR750,000)

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Housing has announced that 25,000 under-construction housing units, distributed as part of 12 projects, are now available for reservations.

The initiative is in line with the ministry’s integrated services in the northern and southern regions of the capital city of Riyadh, which are being implemented by qualified real estate developers.

According to the state-run Saudi Press Agency, Saudi citizens can benefit from the initiative by electronically selecting and inspecting the unit’s on the Sakani website, or by visiting a comprehensive residential centre, which permits beneficiaries to complete all procedures from choosing the unit to signing the contract.

The average premium or monthly fee for these units is approximately $400 (SAR1500) riyals, while the prices of the units range from $66,600 (SAR250,000) to $200,000 (SAR750,000).

The under-construction housing units in the 12 residential projects include apartments, villas, and townhouses, with varying designs and prices.

The projects will also provide a residential environment, including cultural, recreational, and sports facilities.