TAQA, Vision Invest and GIC Consortium Wins Juranah Independent Strategic Water Reservoir Project in Makkah

The project is the first of its kind in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, reflecting active private sector involvement in essential water infrastructure development

Abu Dhabi, UAE – 2 January 2024:Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PSJC (TAQA), one of the largest listed integrated utilities in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, is delighted to announce its participation in the winning consortium for the Juranah Independent Strategic Water Reservoir Project (ISWR-1) in the Makkah region, Saudi Arabia.The consortium, which also includesVision International Investment Company (Vision Invest) andGulf Investment Corporation (GIC), has signed the relevant project agreements with the procurer Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC).

The JuranahISWR-1 Project is the first of its kind in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under a BOOT (Build, Own, Operate, Transfer) model, reflecting active private sector involvement in essential water infrastructure development. TAQA will be the lead member for the operations and maintenance(O&M) activities through a specialized standalone O&M company, which will be co-owned by Vision Invest.The total project cost is estimated at AED 1.5bn, with debt funding expected to account for approximately 80%.TAQA is taking a 35% share in the project company and a 50% stake in the O&M company.

To mark the occasion, a signing ceremony was held inRiyadh on 31 December 2023 in the presence of His Excellency the Minister of Environment, Water, and Agriculture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Abdulrahman Al-Fadley.

Under the terms of the project, the consortium will be responsible for building, owning, and operating the water reservoir infrastructure for 30 years before transferring the ownership to SWPC. The project’s primary objective is to respond to emergency municipal water demand for all the Kingdom’s regions and to peak demand in Makkah and Madinah during the Hajj season. The strategic tanks have a total storage capacity of 2,000,000 m3. Additionally, operational tanks with a capacity of 500,000 m3 will be developed undera DBT (Design, Built, Transfer) model to support the potable water distribution system.

This landmark project is a testament to the collaborative efforts of Vision Invest, Gulf Investment Corporation G.S.C, and TAQA. By integrating cutting-edge technology and sustainable practices, the consortium aims to ensure reliable and efficient water supply for the region.

Engineer Khalid Al-Quraishi, CEO of the Saudi Water Partnership Company, said: “The project is the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia with the participation of the private sector, which comes after the launch of the National Water Strategy. The project will operate under the ownership, operation, and asset transfer (BOOT) system, and the commercial operation of the project will begin in the second quarter of 2027.” He further added: “The project will contribute to reducing levels of electrical energy consumption, as the project includes solar energy units to reduce electricity consumption from the network and achieve the availability of stored water by 100%, in addition to decreasing operating costs and supporting local content by increasing the percentage of localization in business and human resources.”

Commenting on this achievement, Jasim Husain Thabet, TAQA’s Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, said: “We are honored to be part of this pioneering consortium that will contribute significantly to developing the water infrastructure of Makkah City. This project aligns with TAQA’s commitment to sustainable development and innovation, and we look forward to delivering a robust and reliable water supply system for the community.”

“Our collaboration with TAQA and GIC in this transformative project to improve Makkah City’s water infrastructure is a source of immense pride,” commented Omar Almidani, Vision Invest’sPresident and Chief Executive Officer. “It is an honour to deliver this project for the Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC), and together with our partners, we are dedicated to establishing a resilient and sustainable water storage system in Juranah. This reflects our shared commitment to excellence and our unwavering focus on efficiently and reliably meeting the community’s needs.”

Meshary Al-Judaimi, Group Head – Principal Investment of GIC, stated: “GIC is a leading investor in the infrastructure projects and intends to continue to play a major role in utilities projects in the GCC. We are proud to co-develop this strategically important project in the Kingdom.” Mr Al-Judaimi further added: “Winning the JuranahISWR-1 project reinforces GIC’s role in supporting private sector participation in the development of the GCC economies.”

The Juranah Independent Strategic Water Reservoir Project marks a historic step toward securing water resources in the region and exemplifies the Kingdom’s dedication to fostering public-private partnerships for sustainable development.

TAQA recently announced its new growth targets for 2030. Amongst its refreshed targets, the company articulated plans to expand its Transmission and Distribution business internationally. The Juranah Independent Strategic Water Reservoir Project is the fourth Transmission and Distribution project being explored or pursued outside the UAE. In December 2023, TAQA signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore the possibility of becoming one of the shareholders in a project to develop a 900 km high-voltage direct current (HVDC) electricity interconnector project between Greece and Cyprus. Prior to that, TAQA announced a strategic MoU for a feasibility study of an HVDC infrastructure project in Romania. Earlier in 2023, TAQA invested GBP25 million (AED113 million) into Xlinks First Limitedwhich aims to lay the world’s longest HVDC subsea cables between the UK and Morocco to transport renewable power to the UK.

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About TAQA

Established in 2005, TAQA is a diversified utilities and energy group headquartered in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, and listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX: TAQA). TAQA has significant investments in power and water generation, transmission and distribution assets, as well as upstream and midstream oil and gas operations. The Company’s assets are in the United Arab Emirates as well as Canada, Ghana, India, Iraq, Morocco, Oman, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and the United States. For more information, please visit: www.taqa.com.

For media enquiries, please contact: (media.hq@taqa.com)

About “Vision Invest”

Vision Invest is a leading Saudi Arabian development and investment holding company at the forefront of Public and Private Sector Partnerships in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Cooperation Council and beyond.  Since 2002, Vision Invest has nurtured synergetic partnerships with leading local, regional, and global partners and refined a boutique investment model, anchored by the entrepreneurial spirit of our people, to deliver sustainable value to our clients through impact investments.

About Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC)

GIC was established in 1983 and is equally owned by the six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council. GIC is a principal investor that supports the development of private enterprise and economic growth in the region. 

GIC has extensive experience in, and commitment to, the Utilities sector in the Region. GIC has been involved in the utilities sectors in the GCC from inception. GIC is a co-developer seven projects in the GCC with a total assets base of approximately USD 10 billion.

For more information about Gulf Investment Corporation, please visit http://www.gic.com.kw

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