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RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet has deactivated the decision to privatize Saline Water Conversion Corp. and transfer its direct and indirect assets to Water Solutions Co., which is fully owned by the Public Investment Fund.

Based in Riyadh, the SWCC is responsible for desalination of seawater and supplying various regions in the Kingdom with desalinated water.


In a tweet following the announcement, Saudi Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli said that the decision will enhance the level of services, and add to sustainability as well as enable investments in the water sector.

He also described the decision as a turning point for the sector. 

In an earlier interview with Arab News, SWCC governor revealed that the firm will open six desalination plants by 2024 in a phased manner, beginning with the launch of two plants by late 2022.

Abdullah Al Abdulkarim added that these plants would be established across various cities of the Kingdom, including Al-Shuqaiq, Al-Shoaiba, Jubail, and Alkhobar.

Responding to the latest decision, the SWCC governor told Arab News that it will help SWCC enhance its services within the Kingdom, thus gradually allowing it to become a global champion.

SWCC Gov. Abdullah Al Abdulkarim

Talking about the progress of SWCC in the last four years, he said: “SWCC in the last four years has made very good progress in terms of enhancing the technology, adapting new technologies, and building new plants which will increase the production capacity.” 

He added: “Today we are producing 5.9 million cubic meter a day. And there, there are six plants under construction where it’s at the capacity of 3 million cubic meter.” 

He also added that SWCC aims to decommission more thermal plants to embrace RO technology, which is more environmentally friendly and cost-efficient. 

About a possible IPO in the future, he said: “SWCC will not tend to IPO. We will move the assets to Water Solutions Co., and it will turn into IPO. SWCC will remain a government agency. We should revisit the bylaw first like and find the right mandate for the circuit in the future.”

The official also added that he is currently the deputy chairman and managing director of Water Solutions Co., and made it clear that the company is looking for a suitable candidate for the post of CEO. 

Earlier this year, Al Abdulkarim revealed the firm is close to reducing its carbon emissions by 60 percent.

Saline Water Conversion Corp is the largest desalination company in the world.

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