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The JV has been established to build a 150-kilometer-long pipeline to transmit 500,000 m3/day of drinking water between Rayis in Madinah region and Rabigh in Makkah region, of Saudi Arabia. 

The Rayis-Rabigh independent water transmission pipeline (IWTP) is the first of its kind in the region to be developed with the participation of the private sector. The pipeline will transmit water in both directions to maintain a continuous supply of drinking water. Additionally, the project will create job opportunities and support local content to align with the strategic objectives of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. The 35-year build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) contract was signed with Saudi Water Partnership Co. at a total value of nearly SAR 8.4 billion and construction costs of SAR 2.4 billion for the development of the IWTP. 

The deal successfully reached financial close on 24 March 2024.  

Partner Phil Hanson commented: "We are delighted to have advised the banks on this landmark project, the first water pipeline PPP to close in Saudi Arabia. It demonstrates our Middle East team's projects capabilities, following on from other recent regional water sector deals such as the Yanbu 4 IWP and Ras Tanura IWWTP in Saudi Arabia, and the Mirfa 2 IWP in Abu Dhabi." 

The Herbert Smith Freehills Middle East team included partner Phil Hanson, senior associate Adel Shageev, and associates Maria Zerkalova, Umu Wurie, Amro Al-Ahmar and Yulia Turkina. Based in London, partner Nick May, of counsel Nick Rutter and associate Konstantin Korennoy advised on hedging, and a team from Madrid comprising partner Eduardo Soler Tappa, senior associate Alberto Martinez and associate Juan Presmanes advised on Spanish law issues. 

Key contacts

Phil Hanson photo

Phil Hanson

Partner, Dubai, Riyadh

Phil Hanson
Nick May photo

Nick May

Partner, London

Nick May
Eduardo Soler-Tappa photo

Eduardo Soler-Tappa

Managing Partner, Madrid

Eduardo Soler-Tappa

Media contact

For further information on this news article, please contact:

Wendy Lee-McGuinness

Senior Communications Manager


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Middle East London Madrid Water and Waste Energy Infrastructure Phil Hanson Nick May Eduardo Soler-Tappa