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Wed 12 Dec 2018 12:05 PM

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First phase of Saudi Arabia's new energy park to attract $1.6bn in investment

King Salman Energy Park is expected to create as many as 100,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2035

First phase of Saudi Arabia's new energy park to attract $1.6bn in investment
The first phase covers 12 square kilometres and will be fully developed by 2021.

The first phase of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Energy Park (Spark) is expected to attract investments totalling $1.6 billion, according to Saudi officials.

The project, which opened on Monday, is located between Dammam and Al Ahsa in the kingdom’s Eastern Region, is being developed in three phases and will, by 2035, be a 50 square kilometre area.

The first phase covers 12 square kilometres and will be fully developed by 2021.

“Spark supports the kingdom’s efforts to diversify the national income, provides jobs opportunities for Saudis, enhances the role of the private sector, attracts foreign investments, and encourages innovation and entrepreneurship in the energy sector,” Khalid Al Falih, Saudi Arabia’s minister of energy, industry and mineral resources, said at the launch ceremony earlier this week.

During the launch, 12 industry agreements were exchanged between Spark and a number of global companies, including Halliburton, Raytheon, Baker Hughes and Schlumberger, which announced last year it plans to build a centre for manufacturing offshore platform and supply chain products.

According to Saudi officials, negotiations are currently ongoing with over 120 other industrial investors.

Amin Nasser, Saudi Aramco’s president and CEO, said that the park “will start a new era of growth for one of the kingdom’s thriving sectors.”

“It will serve as a central gateway to the region’s economies, with Saudi Aramco continuing to be at the heart of the global oil and gas industry,” he added. “We’re looking forward to collaborating with our first anchor partners at Spark, as we are investing in business opportunities for international investors and private-sector companies in the kingdom.”

By 2035, the park is expected to contribute SAR 22 billion ($5.87 billion) to Saudi Arabia’s GDP and create as many as 100,000 direct and indirect jobs.

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