A consortium including Samsung Engineering and Shanghai Electric have won an SR11.3bn ($3bn) deal to build a water desalination plant on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi's state-owned Saline Water Conversion Corp (SWCC) said on Monday it awarded the contract to the South Korean and Chinese companies respectively as well as to Saudi Al Toukhi Co for Industry, Trading and Contracting, to build the fuel oil-fired plant, known as Yanbu III.
Water consumption in the desert kingdom is already almost double the per capita global average and increasing at an ever faster rate with the rapid expansion of population and industrial development.
The new plant will have a capacity of 550,000 cubic metres per day of desalinated water and a power capacity of 2,500 megawatts.
SWCC has said it plans to nearly double energy-intensive desalinated water production to almost 6 million cubic metres per day by the end of 2015.
SWCC's plants on the Red Sea coast burn oil - crude, fuel and cracked oil - while gas is used in those on the Gulf coast, the heart of the kingdom's oil wealth. The firm has 36 plants.