Saudi Arabia to launch mega industrial projects

JEDDAH - Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz will arrive in Jubail in eastern Saudi Arabia tomorrow to inaugurate several mega projects at the Jubail Industrial City and lay the foundation stone of the Jubail Industrial City II.

By From K.k. Jafarkhan

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Published: Fri 24 Dec 2004, 12:56 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 11:49 AM

According to the Royal Commission for Jubail, these mega projects include those of Power and Water Utility Company for Jubail and Yanbu (Marafiq) and several affiliates of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic). Total investment in these projects is estimated at more than SR224 billion most of which will be generated by the private sector and foreign investors.

Businessmen and industry experts say that the crown prince's visit symbolises the success of industrial revolution in the country which began in 1975 with the establishment of the Royal Commission.

Attention is focused mainly on the inauguration of the Marafiq projects and Jubail Industrial City II. Marafiq began its operation nearly two years ago on January 1, 2003. It is considered one of the fastest growing companies in the region.

Business experts consider Marafiq as a torchbearer of the country's privatisation drive. "It is a unique concept that integrates water and power sectors. Its success will eventually open the door for large-scale privatisation of public units," said Saleh Al Humaidan, managing director of Al Youm Group of Publications in Dammam. Its expansion plans in Jubail include the setting up of a dual-purpose independent water and power plant (IWPP). The first phase of the project, estimated to cost SR8 billion and participated by international investors, will comprise a 2,400-megawatt power plant and a desalination plant with a capacity of 300,000 cubic feet water per day. Marafiq sources expect both the plants to go on stream by the fourth quarter of 2007.

Jubail Industrial City II is yet another mega project whose foundation stone will be laid by the crown prince.

The extension of the Jubail Industrial City, also called Jubail Industrial City II, is situated just north of the present city and it will consist of 19 primary industries, in addition to several secondary and support industries which will mainly be owned by local and foreign investors. The development of the new industrial town has been divided into four phases with the first phase expected to be operational by 2008. The entire project is expected to be completed by 2022.

Sabic's projects to be inaugurated by the crown prince include expansion of petrochemical and fertiliser, gas, and iron and steel plants. Several private sector industries will also be opened by Crown Prince Abdullah. On Sunday, he will formally inaugurate Qatif Producing Plants marking the completion of 800,000 barrels per day development programme. The plant will also provide 370 million cubic feet of associated gas. The onshore component of the project has the capacity to provide 500,000bpd of Arabian light crude. "The offshore Abu-Safah field produces 300,000bpd of Arabian medium," an Aramco statement said.

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