By Sarah Blackman
Jubail is set for another year of speedy progression, CW discovers.
Jubail is set for another year of speedy progression, CW discovers.So far, Jubail Industrial City, commonly known as the biggest construction project ever attempted, has been progressing at a fast pace. Even at the peak of the economic downturn, the development was moving onwards and upwards with contracts being awarded left, right and centre.
July 2009, for example, saw the Royal Commission of Jubail and Yanbu award five contracts worth a total of US $257.5 million (SR64.3 million). The largest contract, worth $93.5 million, was awarded to Azmeel Contracting and Construction Corporation in association with Saudi Tumpane Company for phase one of Jubail’s Community site development.
“Jubail and Yanbu are success stories. When they were started in the 1980s, everybody was saying ‘these people are crazy, don’t bother doing it’ – everybody was gambling about its failure and now everybody is talking about its success,” says Saudi Arabia’s deputy minister for Town Planning Abdulrahman Al Shaikh.
Up to now, the main focus on the development has been on the supporting infrastructure, which is being completed in four phases, with each stage roughly covering 20km². Stage one began in 2004 and finished in 2009, while stage two is scheduled to finish in December this year, stage three in December 2012 and stage four in December 2015.
Currently, Suez Energy International and Acwa Power Projects are constructing a $3.4 billion independent water and power plant for the Power and Water Utility Company for Jubail and Yanbu.
The power plant will comprise of four blocks and will be based on combined cycle generation turbines. Jubail IWPP will produce 2745MW of power and 800,000m³ per day of desalinated water to Jubail Industrial City and the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia. Construction began in 2007 and is set to be completed early this year.
Recently, however, the attention has turned to real estate. In November, the Royal Commission signed a contract with Al Kifah Contracting Company for executing a group of housing units in Jubail Industrial City.
The contract was signed by the commission’s president Prince Saud Ben Abdullah Ben Thenayan in Riyadh. The project, which is expected to be completed in 36 months, consists of nine, four-storey apartment buildings spread over 33,000m².
Al Kifah is responsible for the construction of the apartment blocks, as well as roads and parking.
Jubail Industrial City currently has a permanent night time population of around 100,000 but this is expected to grow to around 300,000 with the development of the new residential districts.
Each of the areas is around 10km² and, when built up, will have 8500 dwelling units housing around 45,000 people. The entire residential area isn’t expected to be complete until around 2023.
Next inline for the city is the Jubail Rail Network, a 195km heavy rail line across Jubail One and Two.
“We have already completed a concept study and we’re now proceeding with the engineering design,” says Bechtel programme manager George Dinic.
Meanwhile, the Royal Commission of Jubail and Yanbu is inviting contractors to bid for the reinforcement of a community irrigation system, the rehabilitation of Jubail’s Airport runway and taxiways and the construction of schools and kindergartens in the city. Bidding deadlines are February 8, February 9 and February 24, 2010 respectively.