ACWA Power, Saudi Arabia-based power plant developer, Shuaibah Water Electricity Company (SWEC), and Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC), have signed an agreement to restructure the Shuaibah 3 Independent Water and Power Project (IWPP).
The agreement entails the conversion and replacement of the IWPP from an energy-intensive power generation and thermal desalination facility to greenfield seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination plant under the name “Shuaibah 3 Independent Water Project (IWP)”. As a result, Shuaibah 3 IWPP operations will end in 2025, saving about 45 million tons of carbon dioxide and 22 million barrels of light crude oil annually.
HE Eng. Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al-Fadli, Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture in Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the Board of Directors of SWPC, signed a 25-year water purchase agreement for the new Shuaibah 3 IWP with a consortium led by ACWA Power and Public Investment Fund (PIF)-owned Badeel, at a value of approximately $800 million. The ACWA Power – Badel consortium will lead the implementation of the project while SWPC will serve as the offtaker.
“This is the first project in which a thermal water desalination plant is converted into a greenfield reverse osmosis facility that utilizes renewable energy to save up to 70 percent of energy consumption. Shuaibah 3 IWP is proof of the strength of our partnership with the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture to raise the efficiency of the water desalination sector in Saudi Arabia. The project is one of the first of its kind in the region and falls within the framework of the program led by His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Minister of Energy, and unparalleled contribution of the Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Eng. Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen, to deploy renewable energy as the primary source of power for water desalination.”
The agreement was signed in the presence of Mr. Mohannad Ahmed Basudan, CEO of the National Center for Privatization and Member of the Board of Directors of SWPC, Eng. Khaled Al Qureshi, CEO of SWPC, and Mr. Mohamad Abunayyan, Chairman of ACWA Power.
Once completed, Shuaibah 3 IWP will produce 600,000 cubic meters of water a day, catering to the water demand of Jeddah and Makkah al-Mukarramah, especially during peak demand periods such as the Holy Month of Ramadan and the Hajj seasons.
Shuaibah 3 IWP will utilize state-of-the-art reverse osmosis technology to achieve the highest level of production efficiency and reliability that can be benchmarked against any comparable plant in the world, making it one of the Kingdom’s largest desalination projects. The plant is expected to be commercially operational by Q2 2025, with financial returns on contracted revenues reflected during the same period.