Register for MEED’s 2023 construction summit

21 February 2023

Register now

After several challenging years, the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) construction industry is starting a new era of spending.

The need to meet the expectations of growing populations is driving investment in transport infrastructure, housing and power and water capacity. At the same time, governments are investing in industrial, digital and logistics capacity to support the growth and diversification of the regional economy.

Inspired by powerful national visions, construction spending is surging across the region, led by huge masterplan developments in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Iraq. But as well as new opportunities, the surge in activity also raises new challenges.

MEED’s Mena Construction Summit 2023 examines the trends, opportunities and challenges for construction companies and their suppliers in the Middle East.

Decarbonisation agenda

New factors are reshaping how projects in the Middle East are planned, delivered and operated.

In November 2022, Egypt hosted the 27th instalment of the UN climate change summit, Cop27. This year, from 30 November until 12 December, the UAE will host Cop28. Decarbonising the economy is at the top of the regional policy agenda and is set to transform project delivery in the region.

As the biggest consumer of raw materials, generating between 25-40 per cent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, the construction industry is vital in the drive to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The Mena Construction Summit 2023 examines what the decarbonisation agenda means for the Middle East construction industry and discusses ways to reduce the carbon footprint of its people, plants and materials.

Smart construction

Covid-19 has turbocharged the digitalisation of the region's construction industry, and project sponsors and construction clients today expect digital data and smart technology to drive efficiency, safety, sustainability and whole life-cycle profits.

Technologies such as 4D and 5D building information modelling (BIM), digital twins, cloud-based project controls, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, 3D printing, internet of things (IoT) and big data analytics are no longer ‘nice to haves’. They are essential to be competitive.

The Mena Construction Summit 2023 explores how new technology is transforming project delivery and redefining design and construction, while at the same time reducing waste and environmental impact.

At the heart of the Middle East construction community

After a successful third edition of the summit in 2022 that boasted over 1,000 attendees representing the biggest regional construction companies, the fourth edition of the Mena Construction Summit continues to support the construction ecosystem for smart and sustainable cities and help firms change their operational dynamics.

Bringing together key players from across the construction value chain, the event will showcase some of the latest research and innovations driving improvements in productivity, quality, reliability, cost-savings, waste-reduction and energy efficiency and how you can employ these methods in your projects.

Join us in person for the fourth edition of the Mena Construction Summit on 7 June 2023 as we explore the many ways of using innovation and technology to construct sustainable buildings of the future. An immersive agenda with interactive panel discussions, fireside chats and keynote presentations will offer the unmissable opportunity to discuss and examine case studies from the region’s greatest gigaprojects.

Participants attending include representatives from important government stakeholders, project owners, contractors, architects, engineers, consultants, digital technology and equipment providers and software solution companies.

This is an exclusive opportunity to network in person with high-profile individuals, deepen your understanding of the construction sector in the Mena region and make the right investments, while ensuring better project delivery and finding future growth opportunities.

Register now

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MEED Editorial
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  • Saudi market returns to growth

    23 April 2024

     

    The Gulf projects market grew for the 13th straight month in March, rising by 2.4% and adding $93.6bn in value from 15 March to 12 April as the Saudi projects market returned to positive growth. The kingdom added 2.7% or $48bn in value. 

    The growth in Saudi projects was driven in part by the launch of the front-end engineering and design of $9.7bn-worth of pumped hydropower storage projects by Enowa, the utility subsidiary of Neom.

    The total budget and scope of the Mecca Gate project in Jeddah by the Al Shamiyah Urban Development was also significantly increased.

    Beyond the kingdom

    The UAE projects market also continued to grow quickly, adding 3.4% or $26bn in value over the same period.

    The value addition was led by the ongoing revival of the Al Maktoum International airport expansion and the reactivation of several project packages that had previously been considered on hold. 

    Phase one of the airport’s strategic expansion plan now has a total of $16bn-worth of work actively under study or in design, including an estimated $7bn concourse building and $3.5bn new terminal, alongside $2.7bn in sub-structural works.

    Elsewhere in the GCC, Oman’s projects markets also grew by 2.3%, adding $5.5bn, while Kuwait’s grew by 2.1%, adding $3.7bn. 

    The Qatari and Bahraini projects markets shrank, shedding 0.3% and 3.5%, or $0.8bn and $2.5bn, respectively. 

    Outside of the GCC, Iran’s projects market added 4% or $11.5bn in value, driven by the launch into execution of a $16bn pressure-boosting project at the South Pars gas field, while Iraq’s projects market added a marginal 0.5% or $1.8bn in value. 


    MEED's April 2024 special report on Saudi Arabia includes:

    > GVT & ECONOMY: Saudi Arabia seeks diversification amid regional tensions
    > BANKING: Saudi lenders gear up for corporate growth
    > UPSTREAM: Aramco spending drawdown to jolt oil projects
    > DOWNSTREAM: Master Gas System spending stimulates Saudi downstream sector

    > POWER: Riyadh to sustain power spending
    > WATER: Growth inevitable for the Saudi water sector
    > CONSTRUCTION: Saudi gigaprojects propel construction sector
    > TRANSPORT: Saudi Arabia’s transport sector offers prospects

     

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    John Bambridge
  • Neom tenders desalination EPC package

    22 April 2024

     

    Saudi Arabian Neom's utility subsidiary, Enowa, has issued the request for proposals (RFP) for a contract to build a new seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination plant with a capacity of 150 million litres a day (MLD).

    Enowa expects to receive proposals from qualified engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) companies by 22 May.

    According to a source close to the project, the deadline is likely to be extended. 

    The 150MLD project, which is equivalent to a capacity of 150,000 cubic metres a day (cm/d), was previously known as the Moonlight desalination plant.

    It will be located adjacent to the existing 125MLD desalination plant at Duba on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast. 

    MEED previously reported that Neom had received prequalification applications from interested companies in December.

    The project is expected to take 12 months to complete.

    Neom said the plant will treat seawater with a total dissolved solids measure of up to 42,000 milligrams a litre.

    The project scope includes:

    • offshore intake towers and pipelines 
    • seawater intake and screening station
    • feed intake chlorination system
    • media filtration or MF/UF membranes
    • reverse osmosis first pass
    • reverse osmosis second pass
    • post-treatment and stabilisation
    • automated clean-in-place system
    • waste treatment unit
    • reject disposal and outfall

    The selected contractor is also expected to build the necessary storage tanks for the desalinated and stabilised water, an operator control room, programmable logic control and Scada systems, among others.

    In addition, the plant must to comply with Neom’s cybersecurity requirements.

    To meet the short timeline, Neom has asked contractors to confirm whether they already possess a design of an existing plant that can be used for the project.

    This project’s capacity is smaller than the zero liquid discharge (ZLD) desalination plant being developed by Japan’s Itochu and France’s Veolia at Neom’s Oxagon industrial city.

    The ZLD plant’s first phase is expected to have a capacity of 500,000 cm/d.

    A consortium of Enowa, Itochu and Veolia signed the joint development for the ZLD desalination plant in December 2022.

    The planned ZLD plant will be powered 100% by renewable energy and is understood to require an investment of between $1.5bn and $2bn. It is expected to meet about 30% of Neom’s projected total water demand once complete.


    MEED's April 2024 special report on Saudi Arabia includes:

    > GVT & ECONOMY: Saudi Arabia seeks diversification amid regional tensions
    > BANKING: Saudi lenders gear up for corporate growth
    > UPSTREAM: Aramco spending drawdown to jolt oil projects
    > DOWNSTREAM: Master Gas System spending stimulates Saudi downstream sector

    > POWER: Riyadh to sustain power spending
    > WATER: Growth inevitable for the Saudi water sector
    > CONSTRUCTION: Saudi gigaprojects propel construction sector
    > TRANSPORT: Saudi Arabia’s transport sector offers prospects

     

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    Jennifer Aguinaldo
  • Mitsubishi Power wins Al Zour South work

    22 April 2024

    Kuwait's Ministry of Electricity, Water & Renewable Energy (MEWRE) has awarded a consortium led by Japan’s Mitsubishi Power, part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, a contract to rehabilitate eight units at the Al Zour South power station.

    The project will include the rehabilitation and upgrade of eight steam generator boilers, replacement of the control system for the boilers, steam turbines and auxiliaries.

    Mitsubishi Power has partnered with the local contracting firm Heavy Engineering Industries & Shipbuilding (Heisco) to implement the contract.

    The work will recover steam generation capacity, increase reliability of the grid and support Kuwait’s growing power needs, according to Mitsubishi Power.

    “By replacing deteriorated boiler components with new and upgraded components and [undertaking] boiler operation optimisation with upgrading control systems and combustion systems, it is anticipated that this large-scale rehabilitation project will increase the boiler efficiency and lead to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” the firm said.

    The 2,400MW Al Zour South power station was built in mid-1980s.

    Under the new contract, Mitsubishi Power will provide services for the rehabilitation of the steam units, which is aimed at improving operational reliability by overhauling deteriorated components and integrating a new distributed control system.

    Mitsubishi Power is also providing advanced environmental improvement technology solutions aimed at reducing nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions.

    This aligns with the Kuwait Environmental Public Authority's goals for emission reduction in the country.

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  • Sports ministry tenders Riyadh stadium contract

    22 April 2024

     

    Register for MEED's guest programme 

    Saudi Arabia's Sports Ministry has tendered a contract for the expansion of the Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Stadium in Riyadh. 

    It issued the request for proposals on 8 April and expects to recieve bids on 14 June.

    The stadium's current capacity is 22,188 seats and the expansion aims to increase the seating capacity to approximately 45,000. The expansion project comes as the kingdom prepares to host the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup in 2027.

    Capital projects

    The project is part of the kingdom's plan to build sports stadiums under its SR10.1bn ($2.7bn) capital projects programme.

    MEED previously reported that the Sports Ministry had tendered an early works contract for the expansion of the Prince Mohammed Bin Fahd Stadium in Dammam. The scope of the contract includes the decommissioning, demolition, bulk excavation, relocation and setting up of related facilities for the stadium.

    In July last year, the ministry invited construction companies to submit prequalification documents for the main construction contracts for the schemes that are part of the capital projects programme.

    The projects, which are set for completion before the 2027 AFC Asian Cup, include:

    • Increasing the capacity of King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh to 92,000 seats
    • Expanding the seating capacity of Riyadh’s Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Stadium to 45,000
    • Increasing the capacity of Prince Mohammed Bin Fahd Stadium to 30,000 seats
    • An increase in seating capacity for the Prince Saud Bin Jalawi Stadium in Al Khair to 45,000
    • The construction of a sustainable New Riyadh Stadium in the north of Riyadh with 45,000 seats

    The next main element of the ministry’s projects programme is the construction of 30 new training grounds and facilities in proximity to the stadiums that will be used for the 2027 competition.

    Construction on the schemes is expected to start in July 2024 and be completed by December 2025. A total of 18 facilities will be ready in time for the 2026 AFC Women’s Cup.


    MEED's April 2024 special report on Saudi Arabia includes:

    > GVT & ECONOMY: Saudi Arabia seeks diversification amid regional tensions
    > BANKING: Saudi lenders gear up for corporate growth
    > UPSTREAM: Aramco spending drawdown to jolt oil projects
    > DOWNSTREAM: Master Gas System spending stimulates Saudi downstream sector

    > POWER: Riyadh to sustain power spending
    > WATER: Growth inevitable for the Saudi water sector
    > CONSTRUCTION: Saudi gigaprojects propel construction sector
    > TRANSPORT: Saudi Arabia’s transport sector offers prospects

     

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  • PIF buys Saudi towers majority share

    22 April 2024

    Saudi sovereign wealth vehicle, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), and Saudi Telecommunications Company (STC Group) have signed definitive agreements for the PIF to acquire a 51% stake in Telecommunication Towers Company (Tawal) from STC Group.

    Tawal is valued at $5.9bn, according to the signed agreement, which the PIF announced on 22 April.

    The PIF and STC Group will consolidate Tawal and the PIF majority-owned Golden Lattice Investment Company (GLIC) into a merged entity, forming the "largest regional company in the telecommunications infrastructure sector", the Saudi sovereign wealth fund said.

    The PIF will own 54% of the combined new entity, with STC Group owning 43.1% and GLIC owning the remaining minority of the issued share capital. 

    The transactions are expected to be completed in the second half of 2024, subject to regulatory approvals.

    It was reported in October 2022 that STC Group had received a non-binding offer from the Saudi sovereign wealth vehicle to buy 51% of Tawal.

    A wholly owned subsidiary of STC Group, Tawal designs and builds telecommunications towers and has a portfolio of over 15,000 towers across the kingdom.

    The PIF previously acquired Zain Business, the entity that owns the 8,069-tower infrastructure of Zain Saudi Arabia, for more than SR3bn.

    Following the transaction in 2022, the PIF changed the name of Zain Business to GLIC. Zain KSA received a cash amount of SR2.4bn and a 20% shareholidng in GLIC as part of the purchase agreement.


    MEED's April 2024 special report on Saudi Arabia includes:

    > GVT & ECONOMY: Saudi Arabia seeks diversification amid regional tensions
    > BANKING: Saudi lenders gear up for corporate growth
    > UPSTREAM: Aramco spending drawdown to jolt oil projects
    > DOWNSTREAM: Master Gas System spending stimulates Saudi downstream sector

    > POWER: Riyadh to sustain power spending
    > WATER: Growth inevitable for the Saudi water sector
    > CONSTRUCTION: Saudi gigaprojects propel construction sector
    > TRANSPORT: Saudi Arabia’s transport sector offers prospects

     

    https://image.digitalinsightresearch.in/uploads/NewsArticle/11701532/main5248.jpg
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