Restructuring of Shuaibah 3 IWPP will mitigate the impact of 45 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year in line with Saudi Vision 2030
ACWA Power, a leading Saudi developer, investor and operator of power generation, desalinated water and green hydrogen plants worldwide, Shuaibah Water Electricity Company (SWEC), and Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC), the off-taker of Shuaibah 3 IWPP, 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 a greenfield seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination plant under the name “Shuaibah 3 Independent Water Project (IWP)”. As such, operations of Shuaibah 3 Independent Water and Power Project (IWPP) will cease in 2025, saving nearly 45 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions and 22 million barrels of light crude oil annually.
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 today with a consortium led by ACWA Power and Public Investment Fund (PIF)-owned Badeel, at a value of approximately SAR 3 billion. The ACWA Power – Badel consortium will lead the implementation of the project while SWPC will serve as the offtaker.
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 Mohamad Abunayyan, Chairman of ACWA Power.
Upon completion of the project, Shuaibah 3 IWP will produce 600,000 cubic metres 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.
Deemed as one of the largest desalination projects in the Kingdom, Shuaibah 3 IWP will utilise state-of-the-art reverse osmosis technologies to ensure the highest level of production efficiency and reliability that can be benchmarked against any comparable plant in the world.
The project will produce potable water at record-low power consumption and be partially energized by photovoltaic solar energy, which will reduce electricity consumption from the grid by 45% and minimise the carbon footprint, advocating the best environmental and sustainability practices during operation. The switch from thermal to RO will reduce the power needed to desalinate seawater by 70%.
Local content of the project will amount to 40% in the construction phase; 50% in the operation and maintenance phase for the first five years; and will eventually increase to 70%.
Shuaibah 3 IWP is expected to be commercially operational by Q2 2025, with the financial returns of the contracted revenues reflected during the same period.