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Mon 19 Jan 2009 08:41 AM

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Company wins water deal for Saudi mega project

Local company secures $52 million contract to supply water to King Abdullah Economic City.  

Saudi-based Huta Marine has been awarded a $52 million contract to supply drinking warter and to construct a reverse osmosis plant at the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), it was reported Monday.

KAEC is the largest private finance initiative in the Kingdom, taking up 55 million sq m of greenfield land and 35km of shoreline outside Jeddah. It is the flagship development in the country for Emaar Economic City (Emaar EC).

The 10 year contract will be operated on a build-own-operate basis, and covers the construction of a 10,000 cubic meter/day reverse osmosis plant, pumping station and a 10,000 cubic meter steel holding tank to provide water in KAEC. Emaar EC has the option to increase production to 20,000 cubic meter/day after the first two years of operation, said the report in Saudi daily, Saudi Gazette.

Emaar EC is currently in the process of arranging for another reverse osmosis plant with a capacity of 70,000 cubic meter/day to be operational within two to three years.

Fahad Bin Abdul Mohsen Al Rasheed, board member and chief executive officer, Emaar and Saleh Bin Laden, chairman of Saudi Huta Group, recently signed the agreement in Jeddah.

“This contract with Huta Marine highlights our commitment to engage established Saudi firms in the development of KAEC," Al Rasheed said.

"One of the largest contractors in the Kingdom, Huta group has undertaken a wide range of large-scale construction projects regionally and internationally, and their extensive expertise will enable the implementation of a world-class infrastructure for KAEC,” he added.

Bin Laden said the KAEC project was one of the most prestigious undertakings in the Kingdom which Huta Marine feelt privileged to be a part of.

“We will (use) our vast expertise to ensure the highest standards and deliver the contract on schedule,” he said.

KAEC is a $26.6 billion project that will have six distinct components – a modern world-class seaport, industrial district, financial island, education zone, resorts and a residential area.

An overwhelming 10 million Saudis, approximately half the country’s national population, subscribed to the 10-day initial public offering of Emaar EC in August 2006, setting a new record in the Kingdom’s capital market history.

Groundwork on KAEC is already underway with over 500 workers on-site, which will exceed 1,000 soon.

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