Top pending projects in 2024

27 December 2023


This report on 2024 projects also includes: Upcoming regional projects hit $270bn

Neom City Development Programme

Project client: Neom

Since its launch in 2017, Saudi Arabia’s Neom has announced numerous masterplans – among them the 170-kilometre-long The Line, the partly offshore industrial city Oxagon and the Trojena mountain resort. These projects make up a large part of the $17.6bn of work currently under bid within the gigaproject.

As the $500bn gigaproject becomes a busy construction site, the construction industry has started to benefit from a sharp increase in contract awards. In 2023, Neom contract awards hit $10bn, making it a major regional market in its own right – one that is only surpassed by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar.

The Line

Significant progress has been made on the construction of The Line. Work on The Line’s backbone infrastructure tunnels began in June 2022, when Neom awarded $2.7bn-worth of contracts for lots two and three of the scheme to a joint venture of Shibh al-Jazira Contracting, China State Construction Engineering Corporation and FCC Construction.

Another contract worth about $1.8bn for lots four and five was awarded to a team of Archirodon, Samsung Engineering and Hyundai Engineering.

Neom is prioritising the construction of the railway that forms part of the infrastructure corridor known as the Spine within its phased delivery plan. In August 2023, Neom awarded package A3 for the mountain railway tunnels on The Line to China Construction Third Engineering Bureau. The same month, Neom invited companies to bid for the $500m track works as part of the railway network programme along the spine of The Line. The contract award is expected in the first quarter of 2024.


The Oxagon industrial city, launched in late 2021, is a 48 square-kilometre development that includes onshore elements as well as floating structures offshore. Its port, Duba Port, is being expanded to act as a key conduit for the delivery of materials into Tabuk Province. Construction at the site is now well under way, with a team of Boskalis, Besix and the local Modern Building Leaders delivering the $800m first phase of the Duba Port expansion project. In October 2023, Belgium’s Deme and Greece’s Archirodon were also awarded the $1bn contract to complete the next phase of the port.

Looking ahead, contractors have submitted bids for packages one and two of the Delta Junction tunnel project as part of the Neom Industrial City Connector at Oxagon. The scheme is likely to be awarded in early 2024 and is split into two packages covering 26.5km of tunnelling.


Neom is steadily advancing its plans to deliver several key components of Trojena, with Saudi Arabia set to host the 2029 Asian Winter Games at the location in 2022. It recently completed the technical evaluation of the proposals for the Trojena dams, and the client and selected contractors are now negotiating the commercial aspects of the project.

In 2023, Neom engaged three contractors on an early contractor involvement basis: a consortium of the local Al-Ayuni with Turkiye-headquartered Limak; Beijing-based PowerChina; and Italy’s WeBuild. In October, Neom awarded a $1.2bn infrastructure development contract at Trojena to a joint venture of the local Al-Ayuni Investment & Contracting and Turkish Limak Holding. In August 2023, the tender was issued for the contract to construct the shell and core components of the Vault at Trojena. 

In 2023, Neom contract awards hit $10bn, making it a major market in its own right – surpassed only by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar

National Renewable Energy Programme

Project client: SPPC

In November 2023, Saudi Power Procurement Company (SPPC) kicked off the procurement process for the fifth round of Saudi Arabia’s National Renewable Energy Programme, issuing the request for qualifications for a new batch of four solar power plant projects.

Saudi Arabia has publicly tendered over 6.6GW of renewable energy capacity since 2017, of which about 4.4GW, or 66 per cent of the total tendered capacity, has been for photovoltaic solar schemes. SPPC is set to procure 30 per cent of the kingdom’s target installed renewable energy capacity of 58.7GW by 2030. 

UZ1000 Upper Zakum Expansion

Project client: Adnoc Offshore

The UZ1000 Upper Zakum expansion will increase the oil production potential of Abu Dhabi’s largest producing oil asset – the Upper Zakum offshore field – to 1.2 million barrels a day (b/d). The $7bn contract for the development of surface facilities on the project is the largest single project package currently under bid in the region. 

Bids for the work have been submitted by the UK’s Petrofac, the local Target Engineering Construction Company and Spain’s Tecnicas Reunidas.

Duwaiheen nuclear power plant

Project client: Duwaiheen Nuclear Energy Company

The $6bn first package of Saudi Arabia’s Duwaiheen nuclear power plant entails the construction of two 2,800MW nuclear reactors on behalf of the special purpose vehicle the Duwaiheen Nuclear Energy Company. In November, the deadline for the tendering process was extended to 31 December, two months later than the previous deadline. Expected bidders include China National Nuclear Corporation, France’s EDF, Korea Electric Power Corporation and Russia’s Rosatom.

Dubai Metro Blue Line

Project client: Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority

The Dubai Metro Blue Line is a $4.8bn project that will connect the existing Red and Green lines by means of an additional 30km of track, 15.5km underground and 14.5km above ground, together with 12 additional stations and the expansion of connecting stations. The scope of the contract also includes the supply of 28 driverless trains, the construction of the train depot and all associated works. The project was tendered by the Roads & Transport Authority after the project was greenlit in November 2023. Expressions of interest are being sought from three experienced international consortiums.

Ruwais LNG Terminal

Project client: Adnoc Gas Processing

Adnoc Gas Processing is evaluating bids for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at Ruwais, UAE, worth an estimated $4.5bn. This project involves constructing a plant that will add 9.6 million tonnes a year of liquefaction capacity and will be the first electric LNG plant in the Mena region. Bids for the projects have been submitted by South Korea’s Hyundai E&C, Japan’s JGC Corporation, the US’ McDermott, local firm NPCC, Italy’s Saipem and France’s Technip Energies.

Al-Zour North IWPP: Phases 2 and 3

Project client: Kapp

The $4bn phases two and three of Kuwait’s Al-Zour North independent water and power project (IWPP) involve constructing a 2,700MW power plant coupled with a desalination facility with a capacity of 165 million gallons a day. The Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects (Kapp) is currently reviewing the prequalification documents for five potential bidders.

North Field Production Sustainability: Phase 2

Project client: QatarEnergy LNG

The $4bn phase two, scope D of the North Field Production Sustainability project in Qatar involves the delivery of two large offshore gas compression complexes that will weigh between 25,000 and 35,000 tonnes as part of a total of 100,000 tonnes of fabrication. Bid submissions are due in December 2023, and the expectation is that both US’ McDermott and Italy’s Saipem will make bids.

 Upcoming regional projects hit $270bn
John Bambridge
Related Articles
  • Facility E nears 25 July bid deadline

    19 July 2024


    The tender closing date of 25 July remains unchanged for the contract to develop and operate Qatar’s Facility E independent water and power producer (IWPP) project.

    At least one developer team is highly likely to submit a proposal to develop the gas-fired plant, sources close to the project tell MEED.

    Qatar state utility General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa) had previously extended the tender closing date for the contract in response to developers’ requests, as MEED reported.

    The Facility E IWPP scheme will have a power generation capacity of 2,300MW and a water desalination capacity of 100 million imperial gallons a day (MIGD).

    “We hear that at least one consortium is being formed … others are preparing proposals, but appear unsure if they will ultimately submit them or not,” a source close to the project told MEED in November last year. 

    Kahramaa initially expected to receive bids on 14 December 2023.

    The contract to develop the Facility E IWPP was first tendered in 2019. The three teams that submitted bids for the contract in August 2020 were:   

    • Engie (France) / Mitsui (Japan) / Yonden (Shikoku Electric, Japan)
    • Sumitomo / Kansai Electric (Japan)
    • Marubeni / Kyushu Electric (Japan)

    The original plan was for the Facility E IWPP to have a power generation capacity of about 2,300MW and a desalination component of 100MIGD once fully operational.

    However, the project owner revised the power plant’s design capacity to 2,600MW and sought alternative prices from bidders. 

    Kahramaa eventually cancelled and reissued the tender in September 2023. The current tender entails a power generation plant with the same capacity as initially tendered in 2019.

    MEED understands that the new target commercial operation date for the Facility E IWPP project has been moved to 2027. 

    The state utility’s transaction advisory team includes UK-headquartered PwC and Clyde & Co as financial and legal advisers, respectively, led by Belgrade-headquartered Energoprojekt as technical adviser.

    Facility E is Qatar’s fifth IWPP scheme. Completed and operational IWPPs include three projects in Ras Laffan – known as Facilities A, B and C – and Facility D in Umm Al-Houl.

    Awarded in 2015 and completed in 2018, Facility D was developed by a Japanese consortium of Mitsubishi Corporation and Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco). South Korea's Samsung C&T was the engineering, procurement and construction contractor.
    Jennifer Aguinaldo
  • Masdar’s second bond issue raises $1bn

    19 July 2024

    Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar) has raised $1bn through its second bond issuance under its Green Finance Framework.

    The announcement comes one year after the company’s first successful issuance of $750m on the International Securities Market of the London Stock Exchange.

    Masdar said the issuance comprises dual tranches of $500m each, with tenors of five and 10 years and coupons of 4.875% and 5.25%, respectively.

    It said there was strong appetite from regional and international investors, with the order book peaking at $4.6bn – 4.6 times oversubscribed.

    The company finalised the allocation with an average split of 70% to international investors and 30% to Middle East and North Africa investors.

    The $1bn proceeds from the issuance will be deployed to fund Masdar’s equity commitments on new greenfield projects, including several in developing economies, as the company pursues a target portfolio capacity of 100GW by 2030.

    In line with Masdar’s corporate credit ratings, the second issuance was rated AA- by Fitch and A2 by Moody’s.

    First Abu Dhabi Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Citibank, HSBC, Standard Chartered, Credit Agricole CIB, Natixis and MUFG were the lead managers and bookrunners on the issuance.
    Jennifer Aguinaldo
  • Firms seek to prequalify for 12 Saudi water projects

    18 July 2024


    Local and international utility developers have submitted their statements of qualifications (SOQs) for the contracts to develop and operate 12 water public-private partnership (PPP) projects in Saudi Arabia. 

    State-backed offtaker Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC) received separate responses from companies for five independent water projects (IWPs) and seven independent sewage treatment plant (ISTP) projects by 4 July, industry sources tell MEED.

    Local and regional companies, in addition to Japanese, Spanish, French and Chinese utility developers, are understood to have sought to prequalify to bid for the contracts, which are set to be tendered in 2024-26. 

    SWPC's shift from a single-project to a multiple-project prequalification process saves time and resources, according to one of the companies that submitted an SOQ.

    "This is particularly true for international developers, which need to allocate resources across various geographies," the source said.

    Another source said he believes SWPC will prequalify companies for lead and technical roles, among others, and then allow these companies to form teams at a later stage.  

    The client previously said that the programme "will provide the opportunity to local and international developers to obtain pre-qualification approval and receive the request for proposal documents for its future projects … without the need to submit a separate qualification application for each project".

    The five IWP schemes have a total combined capacity of 1.7 million cubic metres a day (cm/d). The seven ISTP projects have a total combined capacity of 700,000 cm/d.

    The kingdom's water sector has been undergoing a restructuring programme, with the capacity procurement process linked to the National Water Strategy being undertaken by three other clients: Saline Water Conversion Company, which has been renamed Saudi Water Authority; Water Transmission & Technologies Company; and the National Water Company.
    Jennifer Aguinaldo
  • Nama appoints 2027-29 procurement advisers

    18 July 2024


    Oman's Nama Power & Water Procurement (Nama PWP) has appointed a transaction advisory team to support its 2027-29 power and water procurement strategy.

    According to an industry source, the team comprises UK-headquartered Deloitte as lead transaction and financial adviser, Canada-based engineering consultancy WSP as technical adviser, and US firm CMS as legal adviser.

    The scope of work won by the advisory team includes preparing the overall procurement strategy, extending existing contracts expiring between 2027 and 2029, and undertaking procurement for new-build plants.

    The contracts for three independent power projects (IPPs) in Oman with a total combined capacity of 3,518MW are expiring between 2028 and 2029, according to the state offtaker's latest Seven-Year Planning Statement, which covers the years 2023 to 2029.

    These gas-fired plants and their power generation capacities are:

    • Barka 3 IPP: 750MW (2028)
    • Sohar 3 IPP: 750MW (2028)
    • Sur IPP: 2,018MW (2029)

    Phoenix Power Company, the project company for the 2,018MW Sur IPP, comprises Japan's Marubeni Corporation and Jera and Qatar's Nebras Power. 

    Shinas Generating Company – owned by Saudi Arabia's Acwa Power, Japan's Mitsui and China's Didic – is the project company for Sohar 3.

    Al-Suwaidi Power is the project company for Barka 3. It comprises France's Engie, Japan's Shikoku Electric and the local Suhail Bahwan Group.
    Jennifer Aguinaldo
  • UAE keen to start next nuclear plant phase

    18 July 2024

    The UAE government could start the tendering process this year for the state's next nuclear power plant, located in Abu Dhabi, according to a Reuters report citing a senior UAE government official.

    According to the report, Hamad Alkaabi, the UAE's permanent representative to the Austria-based International Atomic Energy Agency, said: "The government is looking at this option. No final decision has been made in terms of the tender process but I can tell you that the government is actively exploring this option."

    The government has yet to budget for a second power plant or decide on the size or location of such a project, but Alkaabi said it is possible a tender could be issued this year, the report added.

    A significant increase in electricity use over the next decade, driven by population growth and an expanding industrial sector, underpins the plan to proceed with the next phase of the state's civilian nuclear power programme.

    Any new power plant would likely consist of two or four reactors, said Alkaabi, who also serves as the deputy chairman of the board of management of the UAE's Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation.

    The next phase of the Barakah power plant, comprising reactors five to eight, has been in the planning stage since 2019, according to regional projects tracker MEED Projects.

    The UAE became the first Arab state to operate a nuclear power plant when the first of the four reactors at Abu Dhabi’s Barakah nuclear power plant became operational in 2021.

    Each of the four reactors at the Barakah nuclear power plant can produce 1,400MW of electricity.

    Three of the plant’s four reactors are operational. Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation's operating and maintenance subsidiary, Nawah Energy Company, completed the loading of fuel assemblies into Unit 4 in December 2023. 

    Unit 4 will raise the Barakah plant’s total clean electricity generation capacity to 5,600MW, equivalent to 25% of the UAE’s electricity needs.

    Korea Power Corporation is the prime contractor for the $24.4bn first phase of the Barakah nuclear power plant.

    GlobalData expects nuclear power capacity in the Middle East and North Africa region to grow from zero in 2020 to an estimated 7.1GW by 2030, mainly thanks to Abu Dhabi’s Barakah nuclear energy plant and the first reactors of Egypt’s El-Dabaa nuclear power plant.

    The UAE is one of more than 20 countries that committed to tripling global nuclear energy capacity by 2050 at the UN climate change summit Cop28, which was held in Dubai in late 2023.
    Jennifer Aguinaldo