Contract was awarded by the state-owned National Water Company (NWC)
Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin group, has been awarded an advisory services contract, as part of a consortium, to provide sustainable sanitation services in Saudi Arabia. The three flagship privatisation projects will improve existing wastewater infrastructure in Jeddah, Dammam and the Northern Border region for more than seven million people.
The consortium is led by Mizuho Bank and supported by White & Case. As per the terms of the contract, Atkins will provide public-private collaboration, as well as insights on the technical requirements – such as the wastewater treatment plant facilities, environmental impact review and guidance, or procurement and bid evaluation support.
“With strong economic development and a rising population, the current sanitation infrastructure across the Kingdom is not adequate and needs to be expanded. Through these flagship projects, the NWC, with support from the consortium, will bring much needed improvements to the environment, ecology and public health for the citizens of Saudi Arabia,” said Francois-Xavier Basselot, Atkins’ market director for water in the Middle East.
Currently a low percentage of the wastewater produced in the country is collected by the existing network and treated. The projects will be developed using the Build-Operate-Transfer / Build-Operate-Own (BOT/BOO) scheme to finance the construction of wastewater treatment facilities, where private funds are used to construct and commercially operate a facility before ownership is transferred to a public entity. This is the first privatisation project for NWC.
Saudi Arabia has been diversifying and modernising the industrial base of the country in line with the National Transformation Program, Saudi Vision 2030, to be less dependent on petroleum resources. The Program is also aimed at promoting privatization to reduce public spending.