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Abengoa advances in the commissioning of the Rabigh 3 desalination plant and produces its first desalinated water

July 14, 2021

  • This plant will treat 600,000 m3/d of seawater

July 14th, 2021 – Abengoa, the international company that applies innovative technology solutions for sustainability in the infrastructure, energy and water sectors, has achieved the production of the first permeate, that is, obtaining the first desalinated water, in the 600,000 m3/d desalination plant that it is building in the city of Rabigh, in Saudi Arabia

This important milestone has happened during the operational tests included in the commissioning phase of the plant that is currently under construction, and represents a further step towards its commercial operation.

The production of the permeate in Rabigh 3 has been possible thanks to the good performance of the team involved in its construction in this last year, to their effort and commitment, which has managed to successfully overcome such adverse circumstances as those caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Rabigh desalination plant will guarantee the supply of drinking water to more than three million people in the cities of Makkah Al-Mokarramah, Jeddah and Mastorah. It is an important reference in the desalination sector not only because it is the largest reverse osmosis desalination plant in Saudi Arabia to date, but also because it is an example of innovation and sustainability in its design and construction, which allows it to reduce the energy consumption and increase plant availability.

So far, Rabigh 3 has exceeded 4.5 million safe man hours, achieving the highest levels of safety standards and meeting the established health and safety objectives.

Makkah Excellence Award

ACWA Power, a leading Saudi developer, investor and operator of power generation and water desalination plants in 13 countries, and the majority owner of the Rabigh 3 desalination plant, was recently recognized with the prestigious Makkah Excellence Award in the Economic Excellence category. The award, presented on June 10 by His Royal Highness Prince Khalid bin Faisal Al Saud to representatives of ACWA Power and the governor of Makkah province, reinforces the company's commitment to delivering essential water supply reliably and responsibly to communities in Saudi Arabia.

Completion in 2022

The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for this project was awarded to a consortium of Abengoa, SEPCOIII (Power China) and SIDEM (Veolia) in 2018. The commissioning of this plant is scheduled for the first quarter of 2022, complying with the deadline agreed with ACWA Power. Upon completion of the project, the desalinated water will be supplied to the state-owned Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC).

Abengoa is a leading company in the international desalination market. Recently it has completed the construction of the 113,500 m3/d Salalah desalination plant in Oman and continues to build projects as relevant as the world's largest reverse osmosis desalination plant, located in the Taweelah water and power generation complex, with a production capacity of 909,000 m3/d. Abengoa currently has an installed desalination capacity of 1.8 million m3/d, which will be expanded to 4.3 million when the portfolio will be completed.

General view of the Rabigh desalination plant

Click here to download in HD.

About Abengoa

Abengoa applies innovative technology solutions for sustainability in the infrastructure, energy and water sectors. (

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Marián Ariza

Tel: +34 954 93 71 11


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