Saudi schemes boost GCC projects market

31 July 2023

Commentary
Colin Foreman
Editor

After enduring a sustained period of subdued oil prices and the economic shock of the Covid-19 pandemic, the GCC projects market has regained some of its old swagger, recording its best performance in nearly a decade during the first half of this year.

According to regional projects tracker MEED Projects, there were $83bn of contract awards from 1 January to 30 June, the best total for the first six months of a year since 2015. The $83bn total is also a significant increase on the $47bn of awards recorded in the first half of 2022.

The strong performance during the first half of 2023 should continue for the rest of the year. Extrapolating from the total value of awards this year, the 2023 total could be the best since 2015. That year, there were $170bn of awards, just under the $174bn in 2014.

The strong performance in the first half should continue for the rest of 2023

Saudi Arabia was the most active country for contract awards. During the first six months of the year, there were $42bn of deals signed in the kingdom, the most on record. The previous high was the $28bn awarded during the first half of 2014.

Further growth is expected for the Saudi market as activity continues to ramp up on the kingdom’s five official gigaprojects and other major schemes. The oil and gas sector will also remain a key driver of project activity, with Saudi Aramco investing heavily to maintain operations and develop additional production capacity.

The numbers back up this expectation. According to MEED Projects, there are $48bn of contracts at the bid evaluation stage. These are due to be awarded in the near future and will help the Saudi market reach new highs as its works towards achieving the goals set by Vision 2030.


Read more

> Saudi boom propels GCC market to near decade high
> Saudi Arabia plans $1 trillion capital
> Top 10 plans for Saudi's capital

https://image.digitalinsightresearch.in/uploads/NewsArticle/11037422/main.gif
Colin Foreman
Related Articles
  • 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

     

    https://image.digitalinsightresearch.in/uploads/NewsArticle/11705708/main.gif
    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

     

    https://image.digitalinsightresearch.in/uploads/NewsArticle/11701931/main.gif
    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.

    https://image.digitalinsightresearch.in/uploads/NewsArticle/11701892/main0422.jpg
    Jennifer Aguinaldo
  • 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

     

    https://image.digitalinsightresearch.in/uploads/NewsArticle/11701535/main.jpg
    Yasir Iqbal
  • 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
    Jennifer Aguinaldo