By Lynne Roberts
Kingdom plans massive expansion of water network, with $37bn earmarked for capital projects, official says.
Saudi Arabia plans to spend up to $54 billion by 2020 on expanding and operating its water network, a minister said yesterday.
Deputy water & electricity minister Loay Al-Musallam told the Meed Wastewater Treatment & Reuse conference in Abu Dhabi “We plan to spend $37 billion on capital projects and $17 billion on operating the network”. A further $40 billion will be spent on desalination projects.
A new body will be created from January to handle sewage treatment in Riyadh, Jeddah, Medina and Al-Khobar/Dammam, the official added. The National Water Company will launch with $6 billion capital, rising to $20 billion as privatisation develops and it takes on more systems across the country.
According to Al-Musallam, regulation of the water reuse system after privatisation could be handled by the existing power and water regulator, the Electricity Co-generation Regulatory Authority (ECRA), or by a new body.
A new water tariff is also under consideration, and would be submitted to the cabinet, Al-Musallam said. The tariff would take up to two years to change so stakeholders could be fully prepared, he added.For all the latest energy and oil news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.