Saudi Arabia has launched a new company for the management and maintenance of water transmission, distribution and storage systems that span over more than 8,000 km and transmit more than 7 million cu m per day of desalinated water across the country.
The new entity, Water Transmission and Technologies Company (WTTCO), was announced on November 9 by Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Abdul Rahman bin Abdul-Mohsen Al Fadhli.
The arrival of WTTCO was enacted by the council of ministers and is one outcome of the privatization programme in the kingdom’s water sector. Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) Governor Engineer Abdullah Bin Ibrahim Al Abdlkareem has been appointed its chairman.
The launch marks a major step by the Supervisory Committee for the Privatization of the Environment, Water, and Agriculture Sector towards restructuring Saudi's water sector.
The new company – owned by the government – represents a quantum leap in the integration of the water sector as WTTCO will operate commercially to maximize the use of assets and achieve greater spending efficiency, while also decreasing supply chain costs, said Al Fadhli, also the chairman of the SWCC board of directors.
It will work to achieve higher efficiency and impact for the sector, while driving innovation in water technology and research.
Closely aligned to the Saudi 2030 vision, WTTCO's arrival is one of the most important transformations seen in the water sector to date, stated Al Fadhli.
Lauding the support from Saudi Arabia’s leadership for the development of water sector, Al Fadhli said the establishment of WTTCO is a historic step in enhancing the efficiency and organization of the water sector while contributing to a prosperous future for the kingdom's economy.
The water sector will do so by attracting more than SR60 billion ($16 billion) in investment in water transmission and strategic storage systems, through the private sector's participation in funding future projects, he stated.
Minister pointed out that WTTCO aims to achieve the goals of the National Water Strategy and the Privatization Program, which will enhance water services to achieve future growth and sustainability.
Al Abdlkareem reiterated that the establishment of the company contributes to the development of the water sector supply chain.
He also reaffirmed the importance of WTTCO’s role in managing, constructing, developing and maintaining water transmission, storage and dispatch systems, while adding more than 3,500 km of new transmission lines.
These lines will distribute more than 4 million cu m per day of desalinated water to communities and businesses.
WTTCO will ultimately help to enhance Saudi Arabia’s water security and contribute to social and economic growth, therefore creating new opportunities for sector progress alongside additional gains in efficiency and further cost reductions.
This will be achieved through various avenues, including partnerships with the private sector and the self-funding of projects, said the top official.