Emaar awards Saudi water contracts
- From: Vol 8, Issue 8 (August 2007)
- Category: General
- Region: Middle East
- Country: Saudi Arabia
- Related Companies: Huta Group, SETE and Siemens
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SETE Energy has snagged its biggest desal contract to date, serving Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Economic City. There are more opportunities to come.
SETE Energy is the beneficiary of the first major water and wastewater contracts relating to Saudi Arabia’s landmark $26.6 billion King Abdullah Economic City, following the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Dubai-based project developer Emaar on 31 July.
King Abdullah City is the largest of four economic cities being promoted by SAGIA (the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority) in order to help diversify the Saudi economy, whilst creating business opportunities and employment within the Kingdom.
Under the terms of the new agreement, SETE Energy will provide a 70,000m3/d seawater reverse osmosis desalination plant and a 30,000m3/d membrane bioreactor on a lump-sum turnkey basis. Together, the projects will form part of the “start-up utilities” to support the overall development of the 168km2 site approximately 100km north of Jeddah. Emaar also recently signed MoUs with Siemens and Huta Group, respectively, relating to the establishment of a power generation grid and a canal network for KAEC.
According to SETE, Emaar’s decision to enter into direct negotiation with the Jeddah-based company rather that embark on an open tender process reflects the developer’s confidence in SETE’s ability to deliver large-scale industrial projects, and a desire to have the key utilities up and running as soon as possible. Starting from August 2007, SETE has 21 months in which to have the SWRO plant working at full capacity, while the MBR is on a timeframe of 16 months. The SWRO will be commissioned in five phases, with the first 10,000m3/d scheduled to come online after 12 months, with further phases due to be ready in time to meet subsequent deadlines falling after 16, 18 and 21 months. There is also the option to extend the MBR from 30,000m3/d to 60,000m3/d. Degrémont has been signed up as the main equipment supplier for both projects.
The SWRO facility in KAEC will be SETE Energy’s biggest desalination plant to date by some margin. The company’s largest commissioned project is the 10,000m3/d MED plant at Saudi Aramco’s Rabigh refinery, and while the company is in the process of developing a 30,000m3/d SWRO plant at Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport, the Economic City project clearly represents an even greater challenge.
SETE Energy’s Business Development Officer Anthony Raftopoulos acknowledges that in terms of recently secured projects, this marks a significant “step up,” but one that is well within SETE’s capabilities. He believes that there will be more opportunities at KAEC in the future, adding: “In terms of the [King Abdullah] Economic City, a plant of this size could not fully support the size of project they are developing at the moment.”