Saudi Arabia's Water & Electricity Company (WEC) said 10 global industry giants have been prequalified to bid for the development of an independent sewage treatment plant (ISTP) near the city of Taif in the Makkah province of Saudi Arabia.

Once the project gets completed, the Taif plant will boast a total treatment capacity of up to 270,000 cu m per day, said senior WEC officials.

It is being developed as part of Saudi Vision 2030 which recognises the critical importance of ensuring the future reliable provision of sewage treatment services for the quality of life of the kingdom's residents, they added.

Those who have prequalified to bid for the project include Spain's Acciona Agua, France's Suez, Korea's Samsung Engineering, China's Gezhouba Group, Japan's Marubeni Corporation and Egypt's Orascom besides consortiums led by Spain's Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios with Saudi-based International Water Distribution Company (Tawzea) and FCC Aqualia and Alkhorayef Group and Metito Utilities, said senior WEC officials.

The others in the race include the consortium of Mitsui & Co and Miahona Company and the one with Power and Water Utility Company for Jubail and Yanbu (Marafiq) and Mowah, they added.

According to WEC officials, a total of 66 developer consortiums had submitted their expressions of interest (EoIs) early this year of which more than half were from local developers keen to clinch the country's ambitious project.

French sewage project specialists Suez International, Veolia Middle East and Saur had expressed interest in the coveted project along with Spain's Abengoa, Dutch group Arkoil Technologies besides Korean heavyweights Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction and Posco along with Japanese firms Hitachi and Sumitomo and the lone Turkish group Yenigun Group.

Asian heavy weights China and India too had jumped into the fray both as part of a consortium and as sole developers, said the WEC officials.

The big names who submitted their EoIs included China Energy Engineering Corporation; China Harbour Engineering Arabia; China Machinery Engineering Corporation; Jinluo Water Co besides Indian groups Passavant Energy and Environment and Va Tech Wabag.

The project also had several regional players in the early race including Abu Dhabi energy expert Taqa, Etihad Emirates Mabani Transporting & General Contracting, Utico and Water Matrix Technologies apart from Kuwaiti group Gulf Investment Corporation.

In a major boost to the local industries, many prominent players from Saudi Arabia too were part of the race for the coveted project led by leading construction major Saudi Binladin Group.

The others in the list were Saudi Arabian Parsons; Al Bawani Water & Power Company; AlKawther and Alfanar Company and Banan Aloula Investment Company; El Seif Engineering Contracting Company; Nesma Holding and Marafiq, they added.

A strategic project for the Saudi region, the Taif ISTP has several leading global industry experts in the advisory role.

Mizuho Bank is the lead and financial advisor, while White & Case LLP the legal advisor and WS Atkins & Partners Overseas Engineering Consultants the technical advisors.

WEC said it will conduct a competitive process to select a developer or developer consortium for the development, financing, engineering, procurement, construction, implementation, ownership, operation, maintenance and transfer of the project, together with associated infrastructure and facilities.

Under a 25-year sewage treatment agreement with WEC, the project company to be incorporated to develop the project will treat the entire sewage capacity supplied by the utility firm.

WEC’s obligations under the sewage treatment agreement will be supported by a credit support agreement from the Saudi government.-TradeArabia News Service

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