Neom to build the world’s largest floating structure

Oxagon will link fully automated distribution centres and autonomous last-mile delivery assets and be at the centre of Neom’s blue economy

HRH Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Crown Prince and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Neom Company, has announced the establishment of Oxagon, forming the next phase of its masterplan and representing a radical new model for future manufacturing centres, based on the futuristic strategies of the $500 billion new city, which aim to redefine the way humanity lives and works in the future.

Comprising a large area in the southwest corner of Neom, the core urban environment is centred around the integrated port and logistics hub that will house the majority of the city’s anticipated residents, a statement said.

“It will be the catalyst for economic growth and diversity in Neom and the kingdom, further meeting our ambitions under Vision 2030. Oxagon will contribute to redefining the world’s approach to industrial development in the future, protecting the environment while creating jobs and growth for Neom,” remarked Prince Mohammed.

“It will contribute to Saudi Arabia’s regional trade and commerce, and support creating a new focal point for global trade flows. I am pleased to see that business and development have started on the ground and we look forward to the city’s rapid expansion,” he added.

The unique octagonal design minimises impact on the environment and provides optimal land usage, with the remainder open to preserve 95% of the natural environment. A defining feature of the city is the world’s largest floating structure, which will become a centre for Neom’s blue economy and achieve sustainable growth, it added.

Oxagon complements the same philosophy and principles of The Line (which was announced in January 2021) and will offer exceptional liveability in harmony with nature. Ideally located on the Red Sea close to the Suez Canal, through which approximately 13% of the globe’s trade passes, Oxagon will be one of the world’s most technologically advanced logistics hubs with state-of-the-art integrated port and airport connectivity.

Neom CEO Nadhmi Al Nasr said: “Through Oxagon, there will be a fundamental shift in how the world views manufacturing centres. What encourages us is to see the enthusiasm of a number of our partners who have shown eagerness to start their projects in Oxagon.”

“These pioneers of change will establish factories, developed with the latest technologies in artificial intelligence, to achieve a significant leap for this era into the Fourth Industrial Revolution. As with The Line, Oxagon will be a comprehensive cognitive city that provides exceptional liveability for its residents,” noted Al Nasr.

Oxagon will establish the world’s first fully integrated port and supply chain ecosystem for Neom. The port, logistics and rail delivery facility will be unified, providing world-class productivity levels with net-zero carbon emissions, setting global benchmarks in the adoption of technology and environmental sustainability.

The agile and integrated physical and digital supply chain and logistics system will allow for real-time planning, resulting in secure on-time delivery, efficiency and cost-effectiveness for industry partners, he added.

At Oxagon’s core will be the adoption of the most advanced technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), human-machine fusion, artificial and predictive intelligence, and robotics, all of which are coupled to a network of fully automated distribution centres and autonomous last-mile delivery assets to drive Neom’s ambitions of creating a seamless integrated, intelligent and efficient supply chain.

According to Neom, the net-zero city will be powered by 100% clean energy and will become a focal point for industry leaders who want to pioneer change to create the advanced and clean factories of the future.

Seven sectors form the nucleus of Oxagon’s industrial development, with innovation and new technology creating a vital base for these industries. These industries are sustainable energy; autonomous mobility; water innovation; sustainable food production; health and well-being; technology and digital manufacturing (including telecommunications, space technology and robotics); and modern methods of construction; all powered by 100% renewable energy, it stated.

Many of the features of The Line that offer exceptional liveability are reflected in the urban landscape of Oxagon.

Communities will be walkable, or via hydrogen-powered mobility. Sustainable industry will be built around the communities, minimizing commute time and providing exceptional liveability with nature seamlessly integrated into the urban environment, said the company.

Oxagon will innovate to create a truly circular economy with a collaborative environment built around research and innovation: Oxagon’s innovation campus will host the Education, Research and Innovation (ERI) ecosystem to rival established global centres, it stated.

The Saudi company said the development of Oxagon was well underway and designs were in progress for the large manufacturing facilities.

These facilities include the world’s largest green hydrogen project involving Air Products, Acwa Power and Neom in a tri-partite venture; the world’s largest and most advanced modular building construction factory with Gulf Modular International; and the largest hyperscale data center in the region, a joint venture between FAS Energy and Neom.

With a best-in-class regulatory system of its kind for mass support, Oxagon will grow rapidly and welcome its first manufacturing tenants at the beginning of 2022, it added.


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