For Taqa's Mecca water reservoir project, leading Saudi and international banks participated in the financial closing. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: The Abu Dhabi utility giant Taqa has reached the financial closing for the Juranah Independent Strategic Water Reservoir Project (ISWR-1) in Saudi Arabia's Mecca region. The UAE company's partners in the Dh1.5 billion project are Vision Invest and Gulf Investment Corporation.

The consortium had reached a project agreement with the Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC) in December last.

For Taqa, this Mecca project represents a major foray outside of its UAE home base. Taqa holds a 35 per cent stake in the project company and a 50 per cent shareholding in the operations and maintenance (O&M) company.

The project cost of around Dh1.5 billion was secured through about 82 per cent debt funding from Saudi and international banks, including Alinma Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF), Saudi Investment Bank (SAIB) and Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD). It demonstrates 'strong confidence from financial partners in the consortium's financial strength and the project's strategic importance', said a statement.

The Juranah ISWR-1 Project is of strategic value in meeting 'emergency municipal water demand across the Kingdom, and specifically in Mecca and Madinah regions during Hajj season.

With a total storage capacity of 2 million cubic meters, it is being developed under a build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) scheme. An additional 500,000 cubic meter capacity of operational tanks under a design, build, transfer (DBT) model is also part of the project. It aims to significantly enhance the potable water transmission and distribution system.

Omar Al Hashmi, CEO, Transmission & Distribution, Taqa, said: “Achieving financial closure for the Juranah ISWR-1 Project is a significant milestone for Taqa and our partners." 

In 2023, Taqa's transmission and distribution business saw strategic collaboration, reinforcing resilience and driving growth. While TAQA continued to expand its reach and build new smart infrastructure across the UAE, the transmission and distribution business 'advanced a number of international partnerships and investments that will support its international business growth in the coming years'.

The Juranah Independent Strategic Water Reservoir Project was the fourth transmission and distribution project being explored or pursued outside the UAE last year.