The new man at the top of the world’s largest desal offtaker will be revisiting its stalled privatisation programme.
The Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) – the body that procures the majority of Saudi Arabia’s extensive municipal desalination assets – has appointed Dr Abdulrahman Al-Ibrahim as its new governor.
Dr Al-Ibrahim joins from his previous role as vice governor at the Electricity and Cogeneration Regulatory Authority (ECRA). He replaces former SWCC governor H.E. Fehied Al-Shareef. At the same time, Abdul Hadi Al-Sheikh has been appointed as the new deputy governor for projects and technical affairs, replacing Ahmed Al-Mudaiheem.
The new governor will have the responsibility of overseeing the procurement of SWCC’s future desalination projects. SWCC has an ambitious line-up of projects in the pipeline (see table, below), although contractors have voiced concerns that not enough information has been provided about the three EPC projects which are due to go ahead next year.
The future of SWCC’s privatisation programme is also uncertain. The latest version of its projections still envisions future power and water projects being procured using the IWPP structure. It also still holds plans to look into the transfer of existing assets to private owners.
Despite this, the two most recent large projects (Ras Al-Khair and Yanbu 3) have both been publicly financed, while there have been no recent developments with regard to the asset transfer plans.