In June I posted an article about The Red Sea Development Co. (TRSDC), the developer behind one of the world’s most ambitious tourism projects. The project is being developed over 28,000 square kilometers of pristine lands and waters along Saudi Arabia’s west coast and includes a vast archipelago of more than 90 islands.
TRSDC just announced it has awarded its highest-value contract to date to a consortium led by ACWA Power to design, build, operate and transfer The Red Sea Project’s utilities infrastructure. The contract marks a significant step forward for The Red Sea Project, establishing it as the region’s first tourism destination powered solely by renewable energy.
All of the utilities will be delivered under a single agreement, unique for a contract of this kind, which includes the provision of renewable power, potable water, wastewater treatment, solid waste management and district cooling for the 16 hotels, international airport and infrastructure that make up phase one of The Red Sea Project.
Energy will be generated via solar panels and wind turbines to meet an initial demand of 210MW with the ability to expand in line with the development. The PPP agreement expects to generate up to 650,000 MWh of 100 percent renewable energy to supply the destination and other utility systems, whilst emitting zero CO2. The resulting saving in CO2 emissions to the atmosphere is equivalent to nearly half a million tons each year.
World’s Largest Battery Storage Facility
Included in the package is the world’s largest battery storage facility of 1,000MWh, which will allow the destination to remain completely off-grid and powered by renewables day and night.
The agreement also covers the construction of three seawater reverse osmosis plants, designed to provide clean drinking water, a solid waste management center and an innovative sewage treatment plant that is expected to allow waste to be managed in a way that enhances the environment, by creating new wetland habitats and supplementing irrigation water for landscaping at the destination.
The Red Sea Project is not investing any of its own capital and is instead committing to purchase its utilities from the consortium for the next 25 years.
The Red Sea Project has already surpassed significant milestones and work remains on track to welcome the first guests by the end of 2022, when the international airport and the first four hotels will open. The remaining 12 hotels scheduled for completion in Phase One will open in 2023, delivering a total of 3,000 rooms across five islands and two inland resorts.
Upon completion in 2030, there will be 50 hotels, offering up to 8,000 hotel rooms, and around 1,300 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites.