Consortium Secures Funding for Critical Water Infrastructure in Makkah

The Juranah Independent Strategic Water Reservoir Project (ISWR-1) in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, has secured its financial backing. A consortium led by Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) and Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC, alongside Saudi Arabia's Vision Invest, announced the successful closure of a Dhs1. 5 billion (USD 408 million) financing package.

This marks a significant milestone for the project, which aims to bolster the water security of Makkah, particularly during the high-demand Hajj pilgrimage season. The Juranah ISWR-1 will provide a much-needed buffer for the city's potable water supply system, ensuring a consistent flow even during peak periods.

The financing package is anchored by a robust debt structure, with approximately 82% of the project cost covered by loans secured from a consortium of local and international banks. Key lenders include prominent names like Alinma Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi, Saudi Investment Bank, and Commercial Bank of Dubai. This strong participation from financial institutions underscores their confidence in the project's viability and the consortium's capabilities.

TAQA, a leading utilities company in the United Arab Emirates, will play a pivotal role in the project. The company holds a 35% stake in the project company responsible for developing and operating the water reservoir. Additionally, TAQA will leverage its expertise by leading the operations and maintenance (O&M) company, holding a 50% stake in this crucial aspect.

The Juranah ISWR-1 is a Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) project. This model allows the consortium to finance, construct, and manage the water reservoir infrastructure for a pre-determined period, after which ownership will be transferred to the Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC). This public-private partnership approach not only streamlines project development but also injects vital private sector expertise into the water sector.

The project will encompass the construction of a large-scale water reservoir with a total storage capacity of 2 million cubic meters. Additionally, a separate component will involve the development of operational tanks with a capacity of 500, 000 cubic meters under a Design, Build, and Transfer (DBT) model. This comprehensive approach ensures not only ample water storage but also an efficient transmission and distribution system for Makkah's residents and visitors.

The successful financial closure of the Juranah ISWR-1 project is a positive development for Makkah's water security. It demonstrates the combined strength of public-private partnerships, robust financing structures, and the expertise of leading companies like TAQA and GIC. With construction set to begin soon, the project is expected to significantly enhance Makkah's water infrastructure and ensure a reliable supply for the years to come.

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