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ACWA Power inaugurates solar-powered Jubail 3A desalination plant

  • ACWA Power inaugurates solar-powered Jubail 3A desalination plant
    Jazlah Plant Inauguration. Credit: ACWA Power
  • The $650 million project will produce 600,000 cubic meters of desalinated water per day to deliver water to over three million people and meet increasing water demand.

    Since commercial operation, the plant has achieved an exceptional world efficiency record of less than 2.80 kWh/cubic meter of final desalinated water, which includes the utilisation of 45.5 MW of solar PV generation to cover 20% of the plant’s energy consumption. This accomplishment further solidifies ACWA Power and Saudi Water Partnership Company’s leadership in global water desalination innovation.

About the entity

ACWA Power
We are a developer, investor and operator of power generation and desalinated water plants with 49 assets in operation, construction or advance development. We employ over 3,500 people across 11 countries.

ACWA Power, a leading Saudi developer, investor, and operator of power generation, water desalination, and green hydrogen plants worldwide, along with its partners Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) and AlBawani Water & Power Company (AWP), have officially inaugurated Jubail 3A independent water desalination plant (Jazlah Water Desalination Company) today, after receiving the commercial operation certificate from Saudi Water Partnership Co. (SWPC), to mark the start of full-time operations. The first of its kind in the Kingdom due to its integration with photovoltaic (PV) solar power, the Jazlah company project was inaugurated under the patronage and in the presence of His Excellency Eng. Abdulrahman bin Abdul Mohsen Al-Fadhli, Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Water Partnership Company.

The $650 million Jazlah company project, located in Jubail, has achieved an exceptional world efficiency record of 2.8 kWh/cubic metre of water using Arabian Gulf Seawater. The groundbreaking project marks the first Independent Water Project (IWP) in the eastern region with a production capacity of 600,000 cubic meters of desalinated water per day to meet increasing water demands. Jazlah encompasses a 45.5 MW solar PV power generation facility, which will account for 20% of the plant’s energy consumption and will deliver clean water to over three million people at a record-breaking tariff of 0.41 USD/m3, using reverse osmosis technology.

His Excellency Eng. Abdulrahman bin Abdul Mohsen Al-Fadhli, Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Water Partnership Company highlighted that the water sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia receives constant attention from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and His Royal Highness Prince Muhammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister.

The $650 million Jazlah company project, located in Jubail, has achieved an exceptional world efficiency record of 2.8 kWh/cubic metre of water using Arabian Gulf Seawater

His Excellency Eng. Al-Fadhli explained that these projects come to achieve the objectives and plans of the National Water Strategy to increase private sector participation in water production projects, supplying drinking water to all regions in the Kingdom.

His Excellency further elaborated that the project will work directly to meet the demand in the Riyadh and Qassim regions, as well as develop this vital sector and improve the quality of its services. In addition, it will optimise expenditure efficiency and harness the private sector’s expertise in construction, operation, and management, thereby increasing its contribution to the sector’s development, which is one of the objectives of the Kingdom's Vision 2030.

The plant’s utilisation of advanced PV and RO technologies will reduce carbon emissions by 60,000 tons per year supporting sustained social and economic advancement in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

The project achieved 40% local content with a total expenditure of SAR 1.5 billion, further demonstrating ACWA Power's contribution to the growth of the Saudi domestic ecosystem of suppliers and manufacturers.

Additionally, the project employs 100% Saudi nationals and further contributes to the growth of a skilled and educated workforce through a cooperative university program which invites students from esteemed universities to undergo training at the plant. By partaking in this program, students acquire essential skills and expertise, empowering them to seamlessly transition into the labour market upon graduation.

Jazlah company project was successfully delivered through a development consortium comprising ACWA Power (40.2%), Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) (40%), and AlBawani Water & Power Company (AWP) (19.8%). The execution of the project involved the EPC consortium of Power China, Sepco III, Lantania, and Abengoa, while SWPC is the offtaker.

"Today, we proudly present the Jazlah desalination plant, a significant milestone in the water sector," stated Engineer Khalid Al-Quraishi, the CEO of Saudi Water Partnership Company. "With a daily production capacity of 600,000 cubic meters, this project marks the first Public-Private Partnership (PPP) desalination initiative in the Eastern region with the world's lowest tariff of 1.54 riyal/cubic metre. This remarkable project is a testament to the dedication and collaboration of the consortium consisting of ACWA Power, Gulf Investment Corporation, and Al Bawani Water and Electricity Company, who worked tirelessly over a challenging 30-month period to bring this plant into operation."

Al-Quraishi also underscored the plant's commitment to sustainability, saying, "Through the utilisation of green energy, Jazlah generates 45.5 MW of solar PV power, resulting in reduced carbon emissions and a significant decrease in grid electricity consumption. The plant operates at an impressive energy efficiency rate of 2.8 kWh/cubic metre. The success of this project is a testament to the unwavering commitment of the Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture, along with the cooperation of all public and private stakeholders. Together, we aim to enhance and sustain water sources, ensuring their reliability and high quality while minimizing environmental impact."

“We are delighted to unveil the Jazlah company water desalination plant alongside our partners. This is the latest world-class project that demonstrate our global leadership in water desalination, and our enduring commitment to cost leadership, social prosperity, and national development,” said Mr. Mohammad Abunayyan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ACWA Power. “A proud addition to our water desalination portfolio, the Jazlah company plant will make invaluable contributions towards the Kingdom’s water security in the years ahead, helping combat climate change while catering to sustainable development goals for a growing population.

“We express our sincere thanks and appreciation to all who have supported us throughout the design, construction, and commissioning phases,” he added. “We now look forward to successfully operate it while advancing and completing more projects across Saudi Arabia, starting with the Rabigh 4 plant that was recently awarded to ACWA Power.”

“We are delighted to continue our participation in the development of the water desalination, energy and infrastructure sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Jazlah company water desalination plant is a pioneer investment due to the usage of the state-of-the-art desalination solutions as well as utilising renewable energy sources that would directly and indirectly enhance energy diversification for the Kingdom” said Mr. Ibrahim Ali AlQadhi, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Investment Corporation.

“We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Saudi Water Partnership Company for its ongoing initiatives to attract local, regional and international developers and investors to participate in the Kingdom’s water sector and utilise the latest technology which in turn would increase the production efficiency,” he added.

"We are very proud of delivering the Jazlah company project on time despite commencing during the Covid period," Eng. Fakher AlShawaf, Chairman of the Board of Directors of AlBawani Holding. "It has been a challenging project, and what was achieved by the team is remarkable. This project is a testament to how the public and private sectors can work together to provide services cost-effectively and expeditiously."

A national priority under Saudi Vision 2030 is the water sector becoming a sustainable sector that preserves water resources, protects the environment, and provides safe, secure, and efficient services through increased private sector involvement and contributions. The Jazlah company plant will further bolster ACWA Power’s efforts in this direction and inspire new RO desalination projects that create new job opportunities, enhance the water sector, and meet Saudi Arabia’s daily water requirements.

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