Leading Spanish infrastructure group Acciona has started the operation and maintenance of Saudi Water Partnership Company's (SWPC) Shuqaiq 3 desalination plant, one of the largest in Saudi Arabia with a production capacity of 450,000 cu m of potable water per day.
Acciona was the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for Shuqaiq 3 Independent Water Project (IWP).
The SWPC commemorated the completion of the construction of Shuqaiq 3 with an open ceremony last week. The event was attended by its CEO Engineer Khaled Al Qureshi, Japan’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Fumio Iwai as well as representatives of Acciona and Abdul Latif Jameel (ALJ).
The Saudi utility also awarded Acciona an O&M contract for 25 years.
According to Acciona, the project includes EPC of a large electrical special facility (ESF) to feed the plant with power and some other additional installations from the existing power plants in the vicinity.
A key project in the modernization of the water sector being carried out by SWPC, the Shuqaiq 3 plant will provide water to some two million inhabitants of Asir and Jizan, an extremely dry region near the border with Yemen.
Acciona, a major player in the region, is currently building four more desalination plants in the KSA. These plants are being implemented using sea water reverse osmosis (SWRO) technology, which is more energy efficient than conventional thermal desalination.
Once all are completed, Acciona will produce 2.5 million cu m of drinking water a day, enough to supply more than 8 million people, almost one-quarter of the population of the country.