Saudi Arabia’s construction industry will grow by 0.05 percent in real terms to reach a nominal value of SR87.23 billion ($23.29 billion), “Saudi Arabia Infrastructure Report” for the third quarter of this year said.
A growing Saudi population has ensured that there is a continued need for infrastructure development, it noted.
The transport sector is one of the key areas being overhauled in the Kingdom, with plans in place to develop a national and regional rail network. The largest contract thus far was awarded in February 2009 for the construction of the Haramain high-speed railway linking Makkah and Medina via Jeddah to Al-Rajhi Construction Group (RCG), France’s Alstom and China’s Railway Engineering (RE). It was announced in April that the freight line of the 1,200km North-South Railway, which will link the northern mineral belt with Riyadh and Jubail, will be ready during 2010.
In the utilities sector there has been mixed news. In April it was reported that the Ras Al Zour IWPP (independent water and power provider) project, which was awarded to Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation, would be taken back under government control and re-tendered as an energy performance contract (EPC). This followed the pulling out of Sumitomo’s partner Malakoff International in February, and the failure to find a replacement. More positive news was reported in March when ACWA Power International secured $2 billion in financing for the Rabigh Power Plant. The EPC contract for the project, worth $1.65 billion, was awarded to Dongfang Electric and Sepco-III