Saudi Focus


April 2016

257,000 homes needed by 2021

Saudi Arabia needs to build nearly 257,000 residential units over the next five years to tackle the growing housing problem in the country, said a report.

With 80 per cent of the Saudi families unable to buy their own houses, there is an urgent need for new housing facilities across the kingdom, reported Arab News, citing the kingdom’s Shura Council.

Meanwhile, the council has approved a plan to help widows, orphans and people with special needs find housing facilities. The decision follows a report by a housing committee which has advocated participation of the private sector in housing projects.


$533m water projects on cards           

Saudi Arabia is set to spend around SR2 billion ($533 million) on projects aimed at enhancing water security in the Makkah region, said a report.

The project, being implemented by the National Water Company (NWC), covers Makkah, Jeddah and Taif and on completion will boost the water capacity by 5.4 million cu m, reported the Arab News, citing a senior Saudi minister.

The project would be carried out in three phases, with Jeddah getting an additional capacity of 4 million cu m at a cost of SR1.5 billion ($399 million), stated Abdullah Al Hussayen, water and electricity minister and chairman of the NWC board.


SEC refinances $1bn loan

State-run Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) and its partners in a gas-fired power plant in Saudi Arabia have refinanced a $1.14-billion loan for the project, an executive and sources told Reuters.

The deal replaces financing taken out in 2010 for the Riyadh PP11 independent power project, which is 50 per cent owned by SEC. A further 20 per cent is owned by French company Engie, with the remaining 30 per cent split evenly be-tween Saudi Arabia’s Aljomaih Holding and Blue Horizon, a subsidiary of Japan’s Sojitz Corp. The plant became opera-tional in 2013.

Jean-Baptiste Roux, a UAE-based financial adviser at Engie, said the refinancing aimed to improve the debt terms and profitability of PP11, also named Dhuruma Electricity Company


Sabic raises domestic steel prices

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) has raised domestic prices for some categories of steel in response to a rebound in international market prices, a company official told Reuters.

The average price for 8-mm and 10-mm steel rods has risen by SR100 ($26.70) a tonne to SR1,950, the Maaal financial website reported.

Prices had been in a downtrend for more than a year.

More Stories