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SWCC ripe for privatisation

Saudi desalination firm awaiting higher authority go-ahead

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The decision to restructure the Saline Water Conversion Corporation has taken a year and a half.
The decision to restructure the Saline Water Conversion Corporation has taken a year and a half.

Saudi Arabia’s Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) is expected to be privatised according to the country’s minister of Water and Electricity, Abdullah Al-Hussayen said without giving a timeline, a Saudi Gazette report finds.

Al-Hussayen, who made the remarks in a press conference at a symposium in Jeddah Saturday, said SWCC had begun restructuring six sectors.

The restructuring process is dependent on a privatisation decision which has been awaited for one-and-a-half years, by the Kingdom’s Supreme Economic Council.

"The ministry will connect up to 60,000 houses in Jeddah to the sewage network by the end of this year and the rest of the houses in the governorate in three year's time," the Gazette quoted him as saying.

The minister also said that a 20% leak of the network’s total volume is leading the ministry to replace plastic pipelines with steel ones.

Dams being built out in Tihama and Laith, he said, would act as a main source of fresh water for Makkah and feed the desalination plants in Shoaiba, the Gazette reported.

The minister remarked that SWCC had begun sourcing locally-manufactured spare parts. "They are cheaper and save the corporation both money and time," he said according to the publication.

The SWCC is said to be producing more than 16% of the total world production of desalinated water. The majority of SWCC desalination plants are employing the multistage flash process producing more than 93% of its total water production. All large MSF plants are coupled with power generation facilities for simultaneous production of power and water.

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