Herbert Smith Guides Lenders On Saudi Water Pipeline Project

International law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has advised the lenders to a joint venture (JV) between Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios and Alkhorayef Water & Power Technologies. 

The joint venture aims to construct a pioneering 150-kilometer-long pipeline, facilitating the transmission of 500,000 m3/day of potable water between Rayis in the Madinah region and Rabigh in the Makkah region of Saudi Arabia. 

This Rayis-Rabigh independent water transmission pipeline (IWTP) marks a historic milestone as the region’s inaugural project developed with private sector involvement. Designed for bidirectional water transmission, it ensures a continuous flow of drinking water. Moreover, the initiative is poised to generate employment opportunities and bolster local content, aligning with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 strategic goals. 

Inking a 35-year build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) contract with Saudi Water Partnership Co., the project boasts a total worth close to SAR 8.4 billion, with construction costs amounting to SAR 2.4 billion for IWTP development. 

The deal successfully reached financial close on 24 March 2024.   

The Herbert Smith Freehills Middle East team included partner Phil Hanson (pictured), senior associate Adel Shageev, and associates Maria Zerkalova, Umu Wurie, Amro AlAhmar 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.