BMI View: The Saudi Arabian water sector remains one of the most active in the region and offers some of the greatest opportunities to private sector participants. In particular, we highlight the continued growth in desalination projects and ongoing water reclamation developments as offering significant potential. However, the country continues to be constrained by limited fresh water resources and rising domestic and industrial demand. Desalination is expensive and requires vast electricity resources . M oreover , electricity generation itself uses significant volumes of water in the cooling processes for thermal generation, and although Saudi Arabia is increasing its solar generation, additional industrial demands are weighing down on water resources.Â
Backed by a multi-billion dollar infrastructure expenditure programme, Saudi Arabia is ploughing resources into its water sector and prioritising contractor awards across the key desalination, wasteÂ water and network areas.Â The increasing attractiveness of the Saudi water sector is highlighted by the widespread international interest it generates and the fact that various international water management and water infrastructure groups are keen to enter the water sector in Saudi Arabia.
Japan recently announced it was seeking greater involvement, particularly via product distribution.
Saudi ArabiaÂ will require investment of SAR800bn (USD213.3bn) over the coming 10 years to satisfy risingÂ demand for water and electricity, according to a statement by Deputy Electricity MinisterÂ Saleh al-Awaji on May 13. According to al-Awaji, water and power demand is increasing by around 8% annually. The country previously stated that SAR500bn will be needed over the period to 2020. However, this was before major infrastructure and housing projects were announced.
To cater to these requirements, in 2014 and 2015, Saudi Arabia-based National Water Company (NWC) plans to implement over 30 water projects, worth more than SAR2bn...