By Sarah Townsend
Housing, aviation, highways, rail projects to be built under joint venture
State oil giant Saudi Aramco has agreed a joint venture with Texas-based construction services firm Jacobs, the parties announced on Saturday.
The joint venture will aim to plan and execute social infrastructure projects across Saudi Arabia initially, before expanding to the wider Middle East and, eventually, Africa, Jacobs' chairman and CEO Steve Demetriou told reporters in Riyadh.
It's projects will include "everything from housing, highways, hospitals, schools, rail, aviation and even entertainment and 'smart' cities and the infrastructure associated", Demetriou said.
Jacobs will contribute 50 percent to the joint venture and Saudi Aramco with input from the Public Investment Fund (PIF) and others will make up the other half, he said.
He declined to disclose the value of the joint venture, saying: "We're not being specific. But to give an idea of size, we will start with a few hundred jobs and grow to in the region of 3,000 jobs - and of course we want the majority to be Saudis.
"Right now we are exploring some seed projects the Saudi government has initiated, and we hope to have the JV fully licensed and permitted by the fall [Autumn]."
The joint venture is expected to help generate double-didnt growth for the Texas-based services firm as the venture becomes increasingly diversified, Demetriou told reporters.
He was speaking at the Saudi-US CEO Forum, where high-level CEOs and government ministers gathered in Riyadh this weekend.For all the latest energy and oil news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.