Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/28/2012 -- BMI View: A steady stream of tenders and contracts should be awarded across the remainder of 2012, with activity heavily skewed towards the wastewater sector, where the National Water Company (NWC) is in the midst of a major investment programme to ramp up treated effluent capacity. According to NWC, some US$1.8bn will be spent on contract awards in 2012 - geared towards wastewater treatment plants and pipeline networks. A rollout of new desalination capacity is anticipated over the forecast period, with a large existing slate of new plants currently under construction.
The key themes to highlight in Saudi Arabia's water sector are:
- With a slew of new contracts expected to be awarded by National Water Company (NWC) over 2012 and beyond, Saudi Arabia is set to emerge as the world's most prominent water project market. This confirms its status as an accommodating location for developers and contractors to do business, with foreign investors increasingly drawn to the attractive business environment.
- International companies have been invited to manage and operate water and wastewater contracts in major cities, having generated significant local goodwill following an improvement in water provision in recent years. Under a shift in approach, NWC's newly fashioned O&M contracts are expected to be replaced with longer-term contracts which will offer services to Riyadh, Jeddah, Mecca, Ta'if, Medina and Dammam.
- Contractors had until mid-May 2012 to submit bids for a SAR1bn contract to build a 500,000 cubic metres per day (m3/d) sewage treatment plant at Jeddah's international airport. Furthermore, Saudi Aramco's 24,000m3/d wastewater treatment at the Jeddah oil refinery is now scheduled for completion in 2015. Commercial bids were submitted by contractors in mid- April 2012.
- In late April 2012, NWC completed the draining of the lake at Alasla Valley southeast of Jeddah, draining 2.5 million square metres ahead of schedule. Meanwhile, the Shura Council approved a draft agreement between the Japanese and Saudi governments on water management and sewage maintenance systems in mid-May 2012. The agreement is understood to cover desalination, water distribution and control, as well as reducing the number of leaks and wastage.
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