Company: King Abdullah Economic City
Fahd Al Rasheed has been charged with the delivery of the huge King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) project at Rabigh, and is encouraging developers and contractors to get involved at the site where major progress has been made in the last year.
KAEC has undergone a redevelopment of its masterplan to take account of changes that have taken place since its launch in 2006. These were approved by the authorities in March. The new plan has included scrapping proposals for an academic facility as the huge KAUST campus sits just south of the city, and moving it downtown next to the new Haramain High Speed Rail depot.
The other major change has been to develop more rigorous budgets and timeframes for the city’s development. There are now four, five-year phases with projects earmarked for each phase, but the 63mn m2 Industrial Valley, which makes up a total of one-third of the city’s land mass, will be rolled out in a single phase due to strong demand.
This has followed on from the opening of the first phase of the 14km2 port – a new container terminal allowing it to handle 1.3mn 20ft equivalent units (TEUs) a year. Once the port is fully developed this will grow to 20mn – making it one of the biggest in the world.
Al Rasheed said: “The port is the engine for growth of our industrial zone – and the growth of complementary sectors serving the needs of employment being generated by Industrial Zone tenants.“
Once complete, KAEC will be more than three times the size of Manhattan. In infrastructure terms alone there is likely to be $33bn worth of opportunities for contractors, which does not include opportunities being created by investors such as Jaguar, Pfizer and Mars, which are building new factories in the zone. Mars has invested $60mn in its KAEC plant.