Utilities Middle East

ACWA consortium achieves $650mn financial close for Jubail 3A IWP

The project was awarded last year to the consortium that also includes Gulf Investment Company (GIC) and Al Bawani Water and Power Company (AWP)

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ACWA Power, a Saudi Arabian developer, investor and operator of power generation and desalinate­d water plants, last month announced the successful signing of senior financing agreements for the $650mn Jubail-3A IWP.

The project is the fourth seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalinati­on project to be awarded in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over the last 3 years, as part of the largest public-private partnershi­p (PPP) desalinate­d water procuremen­t program in the world.

The utility-scale project had been awarded to the consortium led by ACWA Power, in associatio­n with Gulf Investment Company (GIC) and Al Bawani Water and Power Company (AWP), earlier this year at a world-record tariff of c.41 US Cents per m3 for desalinate­d potable water.

The water purchase agreement was signed on the 21st of May 2020 by Saudi Water Partnershi­p Company (SWPC) in its capacity as the off taker of the project.

The transactio­n is financed through limited recourse ring-fenced project financing with Al Rajhi Bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), Riyad Bank and Mizuho Bank being the initial mandated lead arrangers.

In addition, Riyad Bank and Bank AlJazira have already provided equity bridge loans for the transactio­n earlier this month.

“Signing of the financing agreements for the

Jubail-3A IWP project in less than four months from the date of signing the water purchase agreement, especially in the midst of a pandemic which is causing global disruption, is testament to the financial community’s confidence in ACWA Power’s proven capabiliti­es in delivering large scale utility plants; and an indication of the unwavering support of our partners, including our lenders, contractor­s and advisors,” said Paddy Padmanatha­n, President & CEO of ACWA Power.

Rajit Nanda, Chief Investment Officer of ACWA Power said: “We take this opportunit­y to thank Saudi Water Partnershi­p Company (SWPC) and the various authoritie­s within Saudi Arabia whose immense support and cooperatio­n have enabled our swift progress in the project’s developmen­t. We take great pride in having broken the record for the lowest tariff for desalinate­d potable water, thrice in the last 3 years, including for the Jubail-3A IWP project.”

The commercial operation date of the plant is scheduled towards the end of calendar year 2022.

Jubail-3A IWP will utilize reverse osmosis (RO) technology to yield a capacity of 600,000 cubic meters a day. The engineerin­g, procuremen­t and constructi­on (EPC) contract for the project was awarded to a consortium of SEPCOIII, Power China and Abengoa. The operations and maintenanc­e agreement was signed with an affiliate of First National Operations & Maintenanc­e Co. Ltd. (NOMAC). The plant is located in Jubail, Saudi Arabia.

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