Acwa Power has signed financing and guarantee agreements for the development of a 2.54 billion riyal (US$678 million) desalination plant in Rabigh, western Saudi Arabia.
The financing for Rabigh 4 Independent Water Plant (IWP) project is being provided by a consortium of local and international banks, including Standard Chartered, Bank of China, Saudi National Bank, Riyad Bank, and Saudi Investment Bank, according to a statement to the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul).
The 27.5-year debt package comprises 2.04 million riyals of senior debt on a non-recourse project finance basis, provided to Rawabi Water Desalination Company. Acwa Power holds a 45% stake in the company. Other consortium members are Haji Ali Reza (Haaco) 35% and Al Moayyed 20%.
The project, to be established in the Rabigh governorate of the Makkah region, includes a reverse osmosis desalination plant capable of produding 600,000 cubic metres of desalinated water daily, a 1.2 million m3 water tank, and a solar PV capacity of 6.8 megawatts. The plant is scheduled to be commissioned on March 31 2026.
In July the project consortium signed an engineering, procurement, and construction contract with a consortium of Power China, Sepco III and Wetico.
Located on the kingdom’s Red Sea coast, Rabigh 4 will mainly serve the Makkah and Madinah regions. A water purchase agreement was signed earlier this year with the Saudi Water Partnership Company.
Acwa Power currently operates the Rabigh 3 IWP in the same area, the first desalination plant of its size in the private sector. The Saudi energy company now operates 16 desalination plants in four countries, ten of which are in Saudi Arabia.
The company fulfils 30% of the kingdom's water demand. In 2022 alone, the company added 2.4 million m3/day of water desalination capacity via four desalination plants in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates.