ACWA Power Building Desalination Plant in Saudi Arabia

Published on: 

SWPC awards contract to ACWA Power for a 600,000m³ per day facility.

ACWA Power, a Saudi developer, investor, and operator of power generation, water desalination, and green hydrogen plants, signed water purchase agreements for the Rabigh 4 Independent Water Plant (IWP) in Saudi Arabia. The 600,000m3 per day facility will be located on the Red Sea coast, and the Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC), a government offtaker, will be the sole buyer of services for the project.

The agreements were signed by Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al-Fadhli, Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, and Chairman of the SWPC, alongside Mohammad Abunayyan, Chairman of ACWA Power. Marco Arcelli, CEO of ACWA Power, and Raad Al-Saady, Managing Director and Vice Chairman of ACWA Power, were also present.

Al-Fadhli emphasized that the Rabigh 4 agreements would help achieve water production project goals in partnership with the private sector, supplying industries, communities, and individuals across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The plant, valued at approximately SAR 2.54 billion, will employ reverse osmosis technology to service the Makkah and Madinah regions, which experience increased demand during Ramadan and the annual Hajj season.


Khalid bin Zuwaid Al-Quraishi, CEO of SWPC, highlighted Rabigh 4's design, which aims to use less electricity, reduce operating costs, and support local content across both the supply chain and employment. The plant is expected to become operational in 2026. ACWA Power currently operates the Rabigh 3 IWP, which has the same capacity as Rabigh 4.

Mohammad Abunayyan, Chairman of ACWA Power said, “We are honored to partner with the SWPC and leverage our expertise as a market leader in water desalination. Our commitment to developing efficient and reliable projects that meet the practical water needs of the community has played a significant role in our contribution towards Saudi Arabia's clean water strategy, including supplying nearly a third of the nation's water needs. As we move forward, we remain dedicated to advancing our support with our upcoming facility, which will set a new standard in terms of capacity and sustainability.” He continued, “With Rabigh 4 IWP, ACWA Power will double its desalination capacity in Rabigh Area. Financial close for the project is expected during the third quarter of 2023.”

ACWA Power now operates 16 desalination plants in four countries, with ten of them in Saudi Arabia. The company meets 30% of the Kingdom's water demand. In 2022, ACWA Power added 2.4 million cm³/day of water desalination capacity through four desalination plants in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE.