Saudi National Water plans $800m in new projects in 2011

Kingdom needs $33.3bn in investments in desalination and water recycling plants
Saudi National Water plans $800m in new projects in 2011
WATER PROJECTS: Saudi Arabia wants private sector to manage water as population growth spurs demand (Getty Images)
By Bloomberg
Wed 15 Dec 2010 10:42 PM

National Water Co, Saudi Arabia’s state owned utility, will put projects costing $800m into operation next year as the Arab world’s biggest economy improves water use efficiency.

The Riyadh based company “will focus on expansion plans and construction projects next year,” NWC’s chief executive officer Loay al Mussalam said in an interview on Wednesday. He said the projects will be funded by the finance ministry.

Saudi Arabia wants the private sector to manage water networks to conserve resources and ensure consistent supplies as population growth spurs demand. The kingdom needs $33.3bn in investments in desalination and water recycling plants, Riyadh based NCB Capital said in a report.

The world’s largest oil supplier gets about 100 millimeters (4 inches) of rain a year, and most of that evaporates due to temperatures that can reach 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) in the summer.

The Saudi government is studying raising tariffs on consumption to better conserve water. The government revised electricity rates in July.

Musallam said: “We need a solution to charge tariffs to sustain further enhancements to the water network. We see the tariff charges as an improvement.”

National Water will carry out a water rehabilitation project at the Manfonha Wastewater Treatment plant in Riyadh and build a reservoir in Jeddah as part of their expansion plans next year. Each project costs $106.6m.

Musallam said: “The Jeddah reservoir is important for sustaining the city’s water supply during the peak summer and religious tourism times of the year when an influx of visitors causes a reduction in the available supply.”

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