Saudi water company signs $800mln of contracts to expand services to 6mln people

The 91 agreements with 44 contractors will lead to the building of 276,000 water connections and 229,000 sewage connections, NWC said

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. A worker stands at a desalination plant, 35 lm south of Riyadh, May 4, 2011.

Image used for illustrative purpose. A worker stands at a desalination plant, 35 lm south of Riyadh, May 4, 2011.

REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed
 
RIYADH: The Saudi National Water Company (NWC) has signed SR3 billion ($800 million) of agreements with contractors to supply water and sewage services to 6 million people.

The 91 agreements with 44 contractors will lead to the building of 276,000 water connections and 229,000 sewage connections, NWC said in a statement.

The project will provide a boost to the national economy as there is a requirement that more than 50 percent of the inputs for its water and sewage connections and service lines must be locally produced.

The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA) has launched the latest phase of its restructuring of regional water facilities under the NWC umbrella, as part of the Kingdom’s wider privatization strategy.

Last Sunday, Abdul Rahman Al-Fadli, minister of environment, water and agriculture, launched the integration of the Western Cluster, around the Makkah region, and the Southern Cluster, consisting of the Asir, Jazan, Najran, and Al-Baha regions.

The two clusters will be restructured under the NWC parent entity and are part of plans for all 13 regions in the Kingdom to be integrated into six clusters, which will then operate under centralized management.

This latest step comes after the NWC succeeded in integrating the regions in the north into the Northwestern Cluster in November, without any disruption to service. The long-term aim is to have the water distribution sector fully integrated by the end of the year.

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