Saudi Focus


October 2016

Khodari wins deal, renews facility

Saudi construction firm Abdullah Abdul Mohsin Al Khodari and Sons has won a SR69-million ($18.4 million) contract from the kingdom’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture for the maintenance of water networks.

The company also announced that it had renewed an existing SR132 million ($35.2 million) Islamic credit facility with Samba Financial Group. The facility will provide bonding commitments as well as capital and working capital requirements for projects and general business, it said. Credit limits for projects covered by the facility will range from 36 to 60 months.


New CEO for developer

Ewaan Global Residential Company has appointed Fadi Qassim as its new CEO.

Qassim succeeds Riyadh Al Thagafi, who leaves after a four-year stint at the helm.

“Fadi is already considered one of the most influential figures at Ewaan as he has made important contributions to making us the leader in Saudi real estate development,” said Abdullah Ashy, chairman of Ewaan Global Residential Company. “As he was an active board member, he has accumulated the knowledge and experience to lead Ewaan through its next phase of success and further growth.”


Huawei signs ‘Smart Cities’ deal

Huawei Tech Investment Saudi Arabia Company has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu for long-term cooperation in the field of ‘Smart City’ technologies and support the kingdom’s industrialisation process.

This agreement aims to support Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 roadmap  and includes implementing ‘Smart City’ technologies with an aim to interconnect every component in several cities. 

This will be done through initiatives like a joint strategy and masterplan design, smart city competency centre, technology innovation and building a smart city reference site.


Thales wins major rail contract

Thales has been awarded a one-year contract to maintain a 2,400-km railway line – mineral and passenger – of the North South Railway (NSR) project in Saudi Arabia.

The NSR project is the world’s largest railway construction scheme and the longest route to adopt the European signalling system (ETCS level 2).

The maintenance contract includes the corrective activities as well as predictive maintenance. 

This will enable rail operators to fix assets before they fail, the French firm added.



Saudi Oger faces debt crunch

The Saudi government has ended talks aimed at saving construction giant Saudi Oger, which is now facing the prospect of a multi-billion-dollar debt restructuring to stave off collapse, according to sources.

The government owes Oger about SR30 billion ($8 billion) for work it has completed,  and this huge backlog of payments has left Oger struggling to meet its obligations, including SR15 billion ($3.9 billion) of loans, billions of riyals owed to contractors and suppliers, and SR2.5 billion ($666 million) to workers in back and severance pay, the sources said.


Binladin ‘starts getting dues’

The Saudi finance ministry has resumed payments to Saudi Binladin Group (SBG), the kingdom’s biggest construction firm, for its work on government projects, the Saudi Okaz newspaper reported last month.

SBG was hard hit last year as low oil prices forced the government to cancel or suspend projects and delay payments. It was then barred from receiving new state contracts after one of its cranes toppled into Makkah’s Grand Mosque during a storm, killing 107 people, though that ban has now been lifted.

“With the series of payments to follow from the Ministry of Finance, the entire rights of 10,000 contractors, suppliers, traders that deal with SBG will be met,” adviser Abdullah Basodan told the newspaper.

SBG is struggling under an estimated $30 billion in debt owed to local and international lenders and the company has laid off about 77,000 foreign workers. It has also reportedly requested a second extension on a SR817 million ($218 million) Islamic loan being used to fund construction at the Grand Mosque.


Siemens builds giant rotor for Jazan

Siemens has manufactured and tested the largest geared compressor rotor in the world at its facility in Duisburg, Germany. The product is for the Jazan integrated gasification combined cycle power plant (IGCC) in Saudi Arabia.

The first-stage impeller with a diameter of 1.8 m is the largest installed on an integrally geared compressor rotor. The STC-GV compressor rotor is part of an order placed last year by UK-based Air Products.

The order comprises 19 STC-GV integrally geared compressors for the air separation unit of the IGCC.

The first compressor units have been successfully tested at the Siemens Mega Test Center in Duisburg. These compressors are now on their way to the site for commissioning and erection due to start in mid-2018.

The air separation facility will supply 75,000 tonnes per day – 20,000 tonnes of oxygen and 55,000 tonnes of nitrogen – to a facility currently under construction in the Jazan province on the coast of the Red Sea.


Al Faisaliah redevelopment to start

Al Khozama Management Company (AKMC) will soon start work on the redevelopment of Al Faisaliah District in Riyadh.

Designed by Gensler, the project is in the final stages of schematic design, according AKMC president Abdulaziz Al Habib.

The half-a-kilometre-long mixed-use development will comprise hospitality, retail, offices and residential units. Construction work will be executed in two phases. The first phase will include upgrading the existing facility and more retail and hospitality space will be added. The second phase will include residential units and additional retail space.


L&T wins SEC contract

Indian construction giant Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has won a major contract from Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) for building a 132-kV double circuit transmission line besides 132 kV of cabling in the Rafah, Arar, and Sakaka areas of the kingdom.

The contract was awarded to L&T’s power transmission and distribution business unit by the National Grid Saudi Arabia, a subsidiary of SEC.

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