The US-Saudi Arabian Business Council (USSABC) revealed that the value of contract awards in Saudi Arabia grew to US$13bn (SAR48.9bn) in Q1 2019, a staggering 113% increase from US$6.1bn (SAR23bn) in the same period in 2018.
Total value of contracts covers megaprojects in various sectors, with oil and gas; water; and transportation projects making up 67% of the total value, accounting for US$8.7bn (SAR32.6bn). The value of awarded contracts in Q1 2019 alone represented approximately 48% of the total value of contracts awarded in 2018.
Makkah accounted for 17% of the total contracts in Q1 2019, recording US$2.2bn (SAR8.2bn) during the period, particularly in the water and hospitality sectors.
These projects include the world’s largest desalination plant in Rabigh and the Four Seasons hotel in Jeddah.
Construction work is also under way on Riyadh’s second Ring Road, as well as the country’s much anticipated Riyadh Metro, all of which led to contracts worth US$1.7bn (SAR6.4bn) in the capital city.
Saudi Arabia’s water sector accounted for US$3.2bn (SAR11.8bn) contracts in the first quarter of 2019, led predominantly by the Gulf nation’s Water and Electricity Company, and its Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC).
The value of these contracts surged by 383% compared to Q1 2018 figures, reaching US$3.7bbn (SAR14bn) in 2019.
In January 2019, SWCC awarded a US$613.5m (SAR2.3bn) contract to a joint venture of Al Rashid Trading & Contracting and Spain’s Acciona Group for the construction of a seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) plant that has a capacity of 600,000m3 per day.
The project is part of Al Khobar SWRO desalination plant’s Phase 2 in Al Khobar, and is due to complete in Q4 2021.
Activity was also high in the oil and gas sector in Q1 2019. The world’s largest oil producer, Saudi Aramco, awarded a US$640.2m (SAR2.4bn) contract to a consortium of India’s Larsen and Turbo (L&T) and Subsea 7 to expand and construct new facilities at the oil giant’s Zuluf offshore oilfield during Q1 2019.