GDI to develop $1bn modular assembly plant in Saudi Arabia’s Neom city

Production is expected to begin in 2022

Gulf Development International (GDI) has unveiled plans to build what is billed as one of the largest volumetric modular assembly plants in the world. The project will take shape within Saudi Arabia’s $500bn Neom city.

According to a statement, the $1bn factory project is expected to come up on a 1.4m sqm site in Neom. Once the facility is operational, it will be capable of producing up to 12,500 modular units per year, remarked GDI CEO George Creel.

GDI also established Gulf Modular Industry Company, a licensed Saudi entity that will operate the factory, the statement explained.

Creel noted that the factory will be the first to break ground in Neom and will employ nearly 2,200 people, through a mix of skilled and high-tech jobs, focusing on developing opportunities and training for Saudi citizens.

Commenting on the move, Neom CEO Nadhmi Al Nasr noted, “I am proud to welcome GDI to our global project, where we are building our communities with the most advanced technologies and modern methods of construction. This partnership touches on all of Neom’s pillars: allowing us to build a community of exceptional livability, where innovative businesses like GDI can thrive while reinventing industry.”

Creel described the new giga-factory as “an efficient ecological marvel”.

According to Creel, GDI will use the facility to build its new volumetric modular system to support building housing for tens of thousands of people and dozens of hotels for Neom, a cornerstone of Vision 2030. The objective is to produce modules to support other giga projects and initiatives in Saudi Arabia and export throughout the region. Production will begin in late 2022, he stated.

Creel added that GDI arranged private sector financing for the transaction. He noted that this demonstrated the strength of the economic fundamentals of Neom, and the venture. DLA Piper provided GDI with legal assistance on the factory project, said the statement.

He concluded, “Over the next three years, GDI expects Neom’s demand for the factory output to quadruple, which will position GDI to attract further foreign direct investment to meet intense demand.”

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