$500B Saudi City NEOM Selects Bechtel to Accelerate Work

NEOM has selected Bechtel to accelerate primary infrastructure development for its Cognitive Cities. It has awarded a contract to the U.S.-based global industry leader for executive project management work.

Saudi Arabia is building the cross border city NEOM, a US$500 billion futuristic mega-project deep in a desert bordering the Red Sea — the Kingdom says “it will be 33 times the size of New York City with plans for flying cars and robot dinosaurs”, according to a report in Business Insider.

Neom is a portmanteau of the Greek word neos, meaning “new,” and mustaqbal, the Arabic word for “future”

“Blueprints obtained by the Wall Street Journal detail wild plans for artificial rain, a fake moon, robotic maids, and holographic teachers. Phase one is due for completion in 2020, with the final brick laid in 2025.”

According to a report posted by Bechtel in LinkedIn, the US engineering and consulting giant with global outreach, will oversee and create resource-efficient utilities and a highly advanced transport system to connect NEOM’s cognitive cities. Work will include simultaneous construction in multiple locations requiring extraordinary engineering solutions in challenging terrain.

“After Jubail, the 2nd world class city construction has started with area of 42000sqkm.. (and the) city size is anew as Belgium,” says an American professional based in Riyadh.

It will cover 10,230 square miles, and cost Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund at least $500 billion — plus millions in foreign investment if it can get it.

“Infrastructure and master planning work has started at site and offsite. Firms from UK, US and other countries are also involved”.

Besides Bechtel, Aecom, SNC Lavalin are also in the US$500 billion project, says a source.

So far, Neom Co has also signed contracts with Saudi telecom company STC for a 5G network, and a $5bn partnership with US-based Air Products and Saudi Acwa Power to develop the world’s largest green hydrogen and green ammonia plant, to be operational in 2025.

The NEOM dovetails Saudi crown prince Muhammad bin Salman’s Vision 2030 plan launched in April 2016.

It is being built in the Tabuk region near the kingdom’s border with Jordan and sits next to Gulf of Aqaba, bordering Israeli’s port Eilat in the north and several Egyptian ports along the south.

Neom is part of Vision 2030: an ambitious plan to revolutionize Saudi society, reduce dependence on oil, and make the country a technology hub

Many regional experts see the ambitious real estate project as a strong link that might bind Saudi Arabia with Israel for the long haul.

Planned as a beacon for the future of urban living in the kingdom based on 5G technology and renewables, NEOM will be far beyond the capabilities of today’s smart cities. Its infrastructure will utilize AI, robotics, and human-machine fusion to deliver greater predictive intelligence and enable faster decision making across all sectors.

According to reports, NEOM (a planned 16-borough city) will be the home and workplace to more than a million residents from around the region and around the world.

Neom is supposed to draw on “cloud seeding” technology to make artificial clouds which will produce more rainfall than naturally possible in the desert

Commenting on the award, NEOM CEO Nadhmi Al Nasr said: “Built from the ground up as a model of future living, NEOM will be one of the largest, most sophisticated and advanced infrastructure projects ever undertaken globally, and we are delighted to have a major industry leader like Bechtel on board to work with us to realize our ambitions.”

Bechtel Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Brendan Bechtel said: “NEOM is one of the most complex projects in living memory and we are proud to be part of it. The vision for a futuristic, innovative and sustainable ecosystem is unique and bold, and we believe NEOM will change the way new cities are developed by future generations. We have helped our customers shape the Kingdom’s history with many key projects and we are honored to be a partner in building its future.”

Neom will also have the “leading education system on the planet,” with classes taught by holographic teachers

Bechtel has long experience of working in Saudi Arabia, beginning with the construction of the Trans-Arab Pipeline in 1947.

More recently, it has worked on Jubail Industrial City and the Riyadh metro.

Source: www.despardes.com

Acciona achieves key construction milestone at Saudi plant

Spanish infrastructure major Acciona said it has achieved a key construction milestone on the Al Khobar 1 project with the production of the first cu m of water (equivalent to consumption of a four-member family for a day) at its desalination plant on the east coast of Saudi Arabia.
Acciona is a world leader in desalination using reverse osmosis technology, which emits 6.5 times fewer greenhouse gases than thermal desalination.
The Spanish group is the EPC contractor for Al Khobar 1, which it expects to complete before the end of the year.
Once operational, the desalination plant, which is owned by the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), will produce 210,000 cu m of potable water per day, serving a population of 350,000 inhabitants.
On the key milestone, Ignacio Lobo Gutiérrez, Acciona Project Director, said: “It is the result of good teamwork between the client, our engineers and the construction teams. Now that we are entering the final stage of construction, we will undertake a number of trials and tests to make sure everything works perfectly.”
The plant, equipped with energy-efficient Sea Water Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) technology, is a critical project in the modernisation of the water sector being undertaken by SWCC.
Acciona Middle East Managing Director Jesús Sancho said while it was delighted over the achievement at Al Khobar 1, it was equally proud of another miletone – relaated to workers’ safety.
“We have successfully clocked five million man-hours without lost-time injuries, an example of Acciona’s dedication to the health and wellbeing of our employees and our partners, and our commitment to our client and to the local authorities.”
Saudi Arabia, with a population of about 33.4 million, is the world’s third largest per capita consumer of water, behind the US and Canada.
The kingdom has introduced measures to rationalise water consumption as part of its Vision 2030 program, with the goal of achieving a 24 per cent reduction in consumption in 2021 and by as much as 43 per cent by the end of this decade.
According to Acciona’s latest Sustainability Report, desalinated water production in the Middle East will be 13 times higher in 2040 than it was in 2014. In a region with acute water scarcity, demand for desalinated water is being driven by climate change and population growth.

Saudi’s SCA reveals 2020-2024 strategy for contracting sector

The Saudi Contractors Authority (SCA) has announced its new strategy for 2020-2024 during its fourth general assembly meeting, which aims to keep pace with the transformations taking place in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s contracting sector.

The strategy intends to fulfill its part in Saudi Vision 2030 and its various programmes. Through the strategy, the authority has built a vision for the contracting sector that prepares for the future and works to overcome the current challenges.

The strategy takes note of the entry of new official bodies; the changes in the tasks of some parties who have a direct or indirect influence on the sector; the aspirations of stakeholders and the challenges of the contracting sector; international best practices and benchmarks; market trends; as well as the future aspirations of the authority.

The updated strategic plan comprises 22 initiatives, of which nine are organisational initiatives concerned with organising the sector; eight are service enabling initiatives to enable and develop the contracting sector; four are internal initiatives to complete the internal capacity building and competencies of the authority and achieve financial sustainability; and one initiative is to provide specialised and high-impact services and solutions to the enterprises of the contracting sector, especially small and medium enterprises.

These inputs were viewed within the framework of the roles and powers that Saudi’s Cabinet Resolution No. 510 gave to the authority.

The updated strategic plan will be based on four main axes, under which nine strategic objectives will be included to achieve the strategic direction.

At the fourth General Assembly Meeting (GAM), the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Eng Osama bin Hassan Al-Afaleq, welcomed the members of the General Assembly. The Secretary General of the Saudi Contractors Authority, Eng Thabet bin Mubarak Al Sweid, reviewed the annual report of all the authority’s achievements for 2019.

In addition, the estimated budget for 2020 was presented to all members of the association, and all the general assembly participants’ inquiries for each item were answered. The strategic work plan of the Saudi Contractors Authority for the year 2024 was also presented to all members.

Source: www.constructionweekonline.com

Qiddiya: SAJCO wins major infrastructure project

Saudi Arabia’s SAJCO has won a £190mn major roads and bridges contract at Qiddiya.

Saudi Arabia’s Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC) has revealed its new contract which will involve the construction of 45 kilometres of various roads and bridges across the entertainment city.

The large-scale infrastructure work is set to begin immediately and aims to be completed by May 2023.

The news was confirmed by the city in a promotional video across a number of its official social media platforms.

1,000 extra workers have been added to the project and it is estimated that 6.5 million cubic-metres of earth will be excavated. In addition, 80,000m3 of concrete will be used for the construction of bridges and 1.2 million square-metres of asphalt for road surfaces.

Qiddiya CEO Mike Reininger commented on the announcement, saying: “This stormwater drainage, roads and bridges will provide access to all facilities and assets on the lower plateau of our site, enabling the transport of key construction materials to the various development sites within Qiddiya’s lower plateau,” said Reininger.

“Once again, we are pleased to be working with an experienced Saudi company and we look forward to announcing even more major contracts later this year”.

About Qiddiya

Based in Riyadh, Qiddiya (also known as Al-Qiddiya) is an entertainment megaproject which is set to be one of several tourist spots in Saudi Arabia as part of the Saudi Vision 2030 scheme which aims to embrace other income resources in the nation as opposed to oil.

Construction of the project begun at the beginning of last year, and will include various tourism attractions with the first being “Six Flags Qiddiya” as a family attraction.

The project is also set to break records with the world’s fastest roller coaster, the tallest drop-tower ride and the largest theme park.

Upon completion of the first phase, an additional 45 individual projects will be completed whilst 300 re-creative, hospitality, leisure and sports will be launched.

Source: www.constructionglobal.com

TRSDC awards contract for construction of Red Sea International Airport in Saudi Arabia

The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) has awarded the contract for the construction of the Red Sea International Airport; its largest value contract to date for airside infrastructure works for the destination’s international airport, set to open in 2022.

The contract was awarded following a competitive tendering process to a joint venture between leading Saudi contractors Nesma & Partners Contracting Co. Ltd and Almabani General Contractors, both of whom have a strong track record for delivering similar projects in the region.
Scope of work
The contract covers the essential construction of airside infrastructure works, including the design and building of a Code F Runway 3,700 meters, Code B Seaplane Runway, Parallel & Link taxiways and pavement works, Aeronautical Navigational Aids, Aerodrome Ground Lighting, Airside utilities, helipads, roads and associated buildings.
According to John Pagano, CEO of The Red Sea Development Company, the company is making huge progress in the development of a world leading destination and by awarding the largest contract to date, the company takes another significant step in this direction, while demonstrating the ongoing commitment to creating opportunities within the Saudi Arabian construction sector.
“Turning our vision into reality will require us to work with organizations that share our values and our uncompromising commitment in enhancing the environment. This was a key consideration when appointing Nesma & Partners Contracting Co. Ltd and Almabani General Contractors. Both our partners have impressive expertise in delivering airside infrastructure, coupled with both local and international experience,” he said.
Once complete, the the Red Sea International Airport will serve an estimated one million tourists per year catering to both domestic and international flights. Envisaged as a unique and iconic airport, it will provide an unforgettable aviation experience for travellers and guests. In addition to the dedicated airport, the first phase of the development includes sixteen hotels offering 3,000 hotel rooms across five islands and two inland sites, as well as commercial, retail and leisure facilities and other infrastructure.

Saudi Arabia’s Qiddiya continues ‘business as usual’, inks $186.5m construction contract

Deal signed with Shibh Al Jazira Contracting Company (SAJCO) to build storm water drainage facilities, roads and bridges at the 334 kilometre square entertainment, sports and arts giga-project.

Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC) has inked a major three-year construction contract worth SAR700 million ($186.5m) with Saudi Arabian contractor Shibh Al Jazira Contracting Company (SAJCO) to build stormwater drainage facilities, roads and bridges at the 334 kilometre square entertainment, sports and arts giga-project.

And despite the global Covid-19 pandemic, QIC chief executive Michael Reininger has insisted that it is business as usual at the site.

The stormwater drainage, roads and bridges will provide access to all facilities and assets on the lower plateau of Qiddiya’s site, which will make transportation of major construction materials to the various development sites within Qiddiya’s lower plateau feasible.

As part of the agreement, SAJCO will construct 45km of roads, seven bridges and grade-separated interchanges. The infrastructure facility will provide access from the main approach highway to Qiddiya’s Resort Core that will be home to theme parks and other attractions, towards the Motion Zone, featuring motor racing facilities, and to the Golf and Equestrian Community.

SAJCO will excavate 6.5 million cubic meters of earth to build the roads. Additionally, the company will use more than 80,000 cubic meters of concrete for the bridges and associated structures and 1.2m square metres of asphalt for the road surfaces.

QIC said that construction on the roads and bridges will begin this month, and will be completed by mid-May 2023.

Over 1,000 skilled workers will be deployed on the site to complete the infrastructure project.

Zyad W. Suleiman, CEO of SAJCO, said: “Qiddiya, as the giga project will change the entertainment and economic landscape of Saudi forever.”

QIC, which will commence testing and commissioning in 2022, is planning to announce “even more major contracts later this year”.

Source: www.arabianbusiness.com

$800bn plan to turn Riyadh into cultural hub for the Middle East

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia is launching a SR3 trillion ($800 billion) plan to double the size of Riyadh in the next decade and transform it into an economic, social and cultural hub for the region.

The ambitious strategy for the capital city was unveiled by Fahd Al-Rasheed, president of the Royal Commission for the City of Riyadh, ahead of key meetings of the U20, the arm of the G20 leaders’ summit that deals with urban development and strategy.

“Riyadh is already a very important economic engine for the Kingdom, and although it’s already very successful, the plan now, under Vision 2030, is to actually take that way further, to double the population to 15 million people,” he told Arab News.

“We’ve already launched 18 megaprojects in the city, worth over SR1 trillion, over $250 billion, to both improve livability and deliver much higher economic growth so we can create jobs and double the population in 10 years. It’s a significant plan and the whole city is working to make sure this happens.”

About $250 billion in investment is expected from the private sector, with the same amount generated by increased economic activity from population growth, finance and banking, cultural and desert tourism, and leisure events.

“We must also ensure the growth is managed properly, so there will be a focus on transport and logistics, including the Riyadh metro which will open at the beginning of next year. The aim is to increase productivity,” Al-Rasheed said.

The plan involves the creation of a “mega industrial zone” focusing on advanced technology such as renewables and automation, and biotechnology and aquaponics. Another key feature is sustainability, with energy conservation, the circular carbon economy with its emphasis on reducing emissions, and water management, all priorities.

“You will see 7 million trees planted in Riyadh in the next few years, and King Salman Park will be bigger than Hyde Park in London,” Al-Rasheed said.


  • 18 megaprojects have already been launched worth over $250 billion.
  • 7 million trees planted in Riyadh in the next few years.
  • King Salman Park will be bigger than Hyde Park in London.

The city also aims to be a Middle East artistic and cultural hub. An opera house is being considered, as well as public art shows with 1,000 works commissioned from around the world. “We have not seen anything like it since Renaissance Florence,” Al-Rasheed said.

The plans will be discussed this week during online meetings of the U20 linking Riyadh with Houston. The Texas oil capital is suffering a new spike in coronavirus cases and pandemics will be on the agenda. “We want to deal with this one, but also be ready for the next one,” Al-Rasheed said.

Source: www.arabnews.com

How can drones help Saudi Arabia’s construction sector post COVID-19?

Rabih Bou Rashid, the CEO of Falcon Eye Drones (FEDS) explains the role of drones technology in Saudi construction recovery

Will adopting drone technology boost the journey to recovery for Saudi Arabia construction sector, which is known for its gigaprojects including Qiddiya, The Red Sea Project, Diriyah Gate, AMAALA, Riyadh Metro, among others, post the COVID-19 pandemic?

According to the CEO of Falcon Eye Drones (FEDS), Rabih Bou Rashid, drones are “an imperative tool to ensure continuity of building operations in Saudi Arabia”.

Bou Rashid said: “The pandemic has presented a considerable challenge to the construction sector in Saudi, which used to require a significant number of labourers. As the Kingdom contains the spread of the disease as a paramount concern, drones can help afford an effective alternative to guarantee the sector’s continuity of operations, while ensuring health and public safety.”

Explaining that drones could reduce the manual rework by 25%, Rashid added: “Drones can help avert costly errors as they help developers identify slip-ups prior to and during the construction, which — if left unchecked — can put a damper on a project’s budget later on.”

According to FEDS, a report by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Housing showed that it surged by 8.03% in 2019 due to its major projects that support the Vision 2030, contributing to the Kingdom’s GDP boost to 12.6%.

FEDS revealed that with drones being able to survey some of the most hazardous and remote spots, the need for several people visiting sites for the collection of data could be eliminated.

Instead, contractors could get detailed data footages from the safety of their offices.

Bou Rashid explained: “Saudi Arabia’s construction sector can definitely progress further with drones. The technology they possess can be truly vital in saving firms extra expenses, time, and effort.

“They [drones technology] can also help safeguard the wellbeing of workers, as well as provide more accurate data without spending a nickel and an hour of their time,” Bou Rashid concluded.

Source: www.constructionweekonline.com

Saudi Construction Sector to Complete 5,000 Projects Worth $1.6 Trillion

The construction sector in Saudi Arabia has been the most affected by the suspension of economic activities during the coronavirus pandemic.

However, specialists in the construction and urban development sector have expected a strong resumption of work, which would contribute to reducing economic losses while completing pending projects.

They affirmed that smoothly starting economic activities can ensure the sector’s gradual recovery and reinforce expectations for an active return to construction in Saudi Arabia to complete the implementation of 5,000 projects worth $1.6 trillion.

These hopes come in light of the challenges facing the sector due to the coronavirus crisis, which has cast a shadow over Saudi contracting activity.

According to the Saudi Contractors Authority, a survey conducted on 600 contracting companies in Saudi Arabia has revealed the challenges facing Saudi contractors, mainly in cash flow, project delays, and supply chain disruptions.

It pointed to an expected decrease in awarded projects this year by 20 percent due to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, operating sources have stated that the Saudi market is expecting an active and gradual resumption of activity in the construction sector.

They pointed out that the boom in the conclusion of construction contracts in 2019 supports the restoration of this activity to complete the commitment to implementation during 2020, which would record growth during Q1 2021.

Fahad bin Mohammed Al Hammadi, former chairman of the Federation of Arab Contractors, expected early 2021 to experience a maximum flow of mega projects in the Kingdom.

He cited the Red Sea Development Project after raising the value of its awarding contracts to more than double in 2020, to increase from SAR2.3 billion ($613 million) in 2019 to SAR6.8 billion ($1.8 billion) in 2020.

He noted that the coronavirus pandemic has greatly affected the construction sector, as work was suspended in line with the precautionary measures imposed.

Another challenge was low oil prices, he stressed, adding that spending in the construction sector during 2020 was negatively affected by the pressure posed on the oil sector since the virus’s outbreak.

Fadl al-Buainain, a financial and banking analyst, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the construction sector was one of the most affected by the Kingdom’s suspension of economic activity.

He expressed hope that activities would resume strongly and contribute to reducing losses, gaining profits, and gradual recovery.

Source: www.english.aawsat.com

Saudi construction equipment market set to grow 4.79pc by 2025

The Saudi construction equipment market is poised for solid growth over the next five years thus registering a CAGR of 4.79 per cent during the forecast period of 2020-2025, according to a new survey by Reportlinker.com.

Saudi Arabia is one of the fastest-growing nations in the GCC region. The low and middle-income groups of people in the country and the government’s significant efforts in constructing new residential buildings are the factors driving the demand for construction machinery.

The construction sector had experienced a strong rebound in 2019. However, the outbreak of Covid-19 has negatively affected the growth of the construction sector. Also, the construction sector is labour intensive..

Currently, prevention of the spread of Covid-19 is of paramount concern. This concern, along with the global economic slowdown, has led to a decline in the demand for construction machinery, said the report.

However, things are slowly looking up, thanks to the key government housing projects in the pipeline.

Under the ministry of housing’s Eskan project, the government has plans to build 500,000 homes. Additionally, the government has also allocated a budget for the construction of 15 million residential units over the next five years, stated the report.

Saudi Arabia is in the midst of Vision 2030, a major transformation agenda that includes many megaprojects, such as the tourist destination of the Neom super-city; the 334-sq-km entertainment city of Qiddiya; the development at the Unesco World Heritage site of Al-Ula; and the luxury, sustainable tourism-focused Red Sea Project.

In 2019, the Saudi government had announced various giga projects, such as the Red Sea Development Project, Qiddiya, Amaala, Riyadh Metro, and Diriyah worth $56.2 billion.

The tourism sector also witnessed significant growth in the last few years. The country has also taken up large hotel projects to accommodate the increasing number of tourists to Makkah, Madinah, Riyadh, and Jeddah, it added.

The Ministry of Housing initiated ‘The Sakani program’ in 2017 as part of Vision 2030, and it was launched to provide more than 500,000 residential units across the kingdom, at an estimated cost of $133 billion.

By the end of the decade, Sakani aims to achieve home ownership for 70 per cent of Saudi nationals. In Riyadh, a total of 7,500 units had been delivered in the first three months, while in Jeddah, the number reached 1,800.

Reportlinker.com pointed out that with ongoing projects since 2017, Saudi Arabia had been showing a potential demand for tower cranes compared to that of other crane types, owing to the increasing new and redevelopment of cities, airports and other infrastructure in the country in the coming years.

Various crane types such as tower, crawler, rough-terrain, all terrain cranes, port and offshore cranes have been considered in the market studied.

Crawler cranes have been the next major crane types in demand in the country owing to the increasing projects in energy and infrastructure sectors.

XCMG, Liebherr and Mammoet have been the key players in suppling crawler cranes with heavy lifting capabilities.

For instance: In 2018, XCMG with its 4,000 ton crawler crane XGC88000 made its overseas debut of hoisting a 1,926-ton washing tower in Saudi Arabia and went on to complete a hoisting operation of 15 parts for Duqm Oil Refinery project of Oman Oil.

Similarly, in 2018, Mammoet had expanded its presence in Saudi Arabia with the opening of a new operational hub in the city of Al Jubail.

The new facility comprises an office building and a 20,000 -q-m yard which enables in-house maintenance and repair of fleet equipment.

In late 2016, Liebherr opened a newly erected facility in Dammam to strengthen the sales and service staff of its cranes, foundation work and concrete technology product divisions in the east of the country.

The company has also developed a number of boom systems especially for this purpose to meet the steadily growing demand from commercial wind farm operations in the country.

Reportlinker.com pointed out that due to the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, many construction sectors have cut the spending in the ongoing projects in 2020.

However, post 2020, the cranes specially tower and crawler cranes are likely to see an increase in demand from crane rental operators and as well as from construction contractors in the country.

The building segment includes various construction activities in areas, like residential, commercial, mixed-use, airports, and sports facilities, which have been considered in the market studied.

The Saudi Arabia construction machinery market is mostly characterised by the presence of numerous international companies, resulting in a highly competitive market environment.

The top seven players in the market account for around 67 per cent of the market share, and the remaining 33 per cent of the market share is dominated by other players, such as Sumitomo construction machinery, Doosan, and XCMG.

Major players are investing considerably in their R&D department in order to integrate innovation with excellence in performance. The demand for high performance, efficient, and safe handling equipment from the end market is expected to make the market more competitive over the forecast period.

Source: www.tradearabia.com

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