Contract awards slide 19pc in Q1
THE value of contracts awarded in Saudi Arabia during the first quarter of this year fell 19 per cent to SR39.7 billion ($10.58 billion), compared to SR49.1 billion ($13.09 billion) during the same period last year, a report said.
The NCB Construction Contracts Index First Quarter report attributes this fall to the lack of volume of mega projects that were witnessed throughout 2013 during the Q1 of 2014.
While the power sector received the highest share of the contracts with 25 per cent, the roads and urban development sectors contributed 16 per cent and 12 per cent shares, respectively, to the overall value.
However, the value of awarded contracts is expected to be bolstered this year as many mega projects are currently in the tendering phase, and will account for a significant share of awarded contracts throughout the year.
The Construction Contracts Index (CCI) dropped significantly to end the quarter at 198.67 points, reflecting a 31 per cent decline compared to Q1 of 2013, it said. It also marked the end of a 34 month streak of consecutive periods above 200 points, which began in May 2011.
A majority of the awarded contracts were in the three main regions of Eastern Province (29 per cent), Riyadh (26 per cent) and Makkah (21 per cent).
20 hotels to be launched by 2017
MILLENNIUM and Copthorne Middle East and Africa (MEA) will open 20 new hotels in Saudi Arabia, with plans to operate 50 properties across the region by 2017, a newspaper reported.
New hotels in Makkah, Madinah, Riyadh, Jeddah, Hail, Jazan, Tabuk and Baha will offer more than 7,000 rooms, said the report in Arab News.
“The market opportunity within the country has increased through growing domestic travel, a short supply of midscale hotels, five-star hotels in second-tier cities, especially for corporate travellers and the significant and sustained growth of religious tourism,” said Ali Hamad Lakhraim Alzaabi, president and CEO, Millennium and Copthorne Middle East.
SEC planning $1.9bn projects
SAUDI Electricity Company (SEC) revealed plans to implement 17 new projects worth SR7.239 billion ($1.9 billion) in a bid to meet the growing demand for energy.
They include new transformer stations in Waed Al Shamal, Gurayat Tabarjal Al Jouf and Arar worth SR2.34 billion ($623 million). The company’s board approved a 380-kV transmission line from Tabarjal to Al Jouf and another line from Al Jouf to Arar, both worth a total of SR725.35 million ($193 million). A 380-kV line will be established between Tabuk and Tabarjal at a cost of SR630.95 million ($167 million).
The rest of the funds will be used for other projects planned for Al Oqair, Jawatha, Abqaiq, Madhaya, Al Khafji, Taif, Madinah and Riyadh.