The Fisia Italimpianti unit of Salini Impregilo has signed a US$255 million contract to design and build a water desalination plant in Saudi Arabia in partnership with a Spanish-based firm.

Located on the western coast of Saudi Arabia, in the Shuaiba area, the plant will use reverse osmosis technology to deliver up to 250,000 m3 of water per day. Potable water will be supplied to more than one million residents in the cities of Mecca, Jeddah and Taif.

Fisia Italimpianti, which holds a 50% share in the contract, has signed a limited notice to proceed with Acwa Power to begin preparatory work. It is expected that a full notice to proceed will be signed by July 27, 2017, and the works will be completed by May 2019.

According to Salini Impregilo, this new order confirms Genoa-based Fisia Italimpianti as one of the world’s leading builders of large desalination plants, with more than 4 million m3 per day of installed capacity and one of the few able to deploy the two prevailing technologies used in the sector: thermal and reverse osmosis.

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