Top 10 GCC Infrastructure Projects

The Big Project looks at some of the most lucrative infrastructure projects underway in 2011

?Haramain Railway, KSA

Last month, contracts were signed for the construction of four stations along the Al-Haramain High-Speed Railway project route, according to the minister of transport Dr Jubarah Bin Eid Al-Suraisiry, who is also chairman of the board of directors for the Saudi Railway Organisation.

Al-Suraisiry said the construction of the four stations, worth SR 9.39 billion, will be undertaken in 30 months from the start of the project’s implementation.

The signing marks the second part of the first stage of the project. The value of the first contract is SR 3.2 billion, the second is SR 1.6 billion, the third is worth SR 2.9 billion and the last will amount to SR 1.8 billion, representing opportunities for suppliers and contractors.

The first stage of the project, which included civil engineering works, such as construction of bridges and excavation works, was carried out at a value of SR 6.8 billion.

Al-Suraisiry added that the stations had been designed to the latest international standards. The designs, he said, bear significant characteristics of the Islamic architecture of the two holy cities — Makkah and Madina — and are inspired by the historical and cultural environment of Jeddah and Rabigh.

The stations include the main building, arrival and departure terminals, mosque with a capacity of 600 worshippers, a Civil Defence Centre, heliports, train and passenger platforms, long and short-term car-parking lots, shops, restaurants and cafes.

A joint venture between local Saudi Bin Ladin Group and Turkey’s Yapi Merkezi won the contract to build passenger stations in Medina and Makkah. Local Saudi Oger won the contract to build stations in Jeddah and the King Abdullah Economic City. The EPC contract for phase two is expected to be awarded this month, with phase one due to be completed in April

Qatar Roads Building

?KBR will assist with the delivery of 20 expressway projects over five years, part of Qatar’s us $20 billion roads-building programme”

In February, the Qatar Public Works Authority (Ashghal) awarded a contract to US-based construction and engineering firm KBR to manage the design and construction of 30 major roads in Doha.

KBR will assist with the delivery of 20 expressway projects over five years, part of Qatar’s US $20 billion roads-building programme aimed at improving traffic flow and reducing congestion, travel times and environmental impacts.

The contract builds on KBR’s portfolio of programme management services for infrastructure projects in the Gulf, according to KBR president infrastructure and minerals Colin Elliott.

In 2004, the international contractor was appointed to oversee project management for the first stage of Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah.

The news marks one of a number of new tenders for road improvement works in and around the capital, Doha, which have been recently launched by Ashghal.

Last month, Qatar Building Company was awarded a $12 million contract to design and build a traffic diversion for Wakra — Ras Abu Abboud Road Intersection.

In June 2010, Ashghal awarded a main contract for the construction of the seventh phase of Doha Highway to Midmac Contracting and Turkish firm Yuksel Insaat in a JV agreement; a three-year QR 1.59 billion contract.

Abu Dhabi Schools

The Abu Dhabi Future Schools Programme was launched in December 2009 by Abu Dhabi Education Authority in partnership with Musanada to supply the growing demand for schools in the capital.

Phase one involves the construction of 18 new institutions across the emirate, the first of more than 100 in the pipeline.

These projects include seven Cycle One (grades kindergarten to five) schools, seven combined Cycle Two schools (grades six to 12), two Cycle Three schools (grades 10 to 12) and two kindergarten to 12th grade schools.

Also as part of the transformation of Abu Dhabi’s education system, the tender was recently launched for the development of Abu Dhabi University Education Park by the client, Mubadala Development Company. The project will comprise research laboratories, business incubators, offices, retail services and residential units.

The scheme is an extension of the current Abu Dhabi University campus and is currently under design. No expected delivery schedule has been revealed yet, but US-based Sasaki Associates has been appointed master planner and architect.

Kuwait Power Projects

Kuwait came close to pushing its power capacity to its limits last summer, with record highs placing extra pressure on power plants”

At the end of February, the Kuwait Ministry of Electricity and Water signed five contracts totalling $1.5 billion toincrease the country’s power and water reserves.

The contracts signed include the second-phase conversion of the Southern Al-Zour power plant into the combined cycle system through installing additional gas turbines, the building and repair of five water reservoirs at a capacity of 80 million gallons each.

The reservoir project is expected to cost $170 million and will be delivered within three years.

A second contract will cover the repair of pipelines for drinking water, extending from Abdullah Al-Jaded Port to the western Finats area, while another contract covers the development of 220 water stations throughout the state at an installation cost of $25 million.

The final contract is related to a KD 7 million project to extend 300KV electricity cables. Kuwait came close to pushing its power capacity to its limits last summer, with record highs placing extra pressure on power plants across the country, according to local media reports.

UAE Airports

The Airport Council International (ACI) and the International Air Transportation Association (IATA), predict that the sheer volume of current development activities in the region will see passenger growth rates continue for the next decade.

Based on research by the two international bodies, airports in the Middle East are expected to handle more than 400 million passengers by the year 2020.

In the UAE, allocated investments for the development of Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai have been estimated at around $8 billion.

The airport has a blueprint to eventually handle 160 million passengers annually; however it currently caters to a limited number of cargo airlines and opened to receive helicopter and passenger aircraft with no more than 60 people on board just last month.

Meanwhile, Dubai International Airport, the existing airport in central Dubai, is building Concourse 3 that will expand annual capacity to 75 million passengers from 60 million at a cost of up to $1.17 billion.

In the capital, investment for Abu Dhabi International Airport midfield is forecast to touch $6.8 billion.

King Abdulaziz International Airport Expansion (phase one)

?Other features of the new airport will include tunnels, corridors, train stations and communications systems”

Design and construction of the new main passenger terminal at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah commenced last month by main contractor Saudi Bin Ladin Group.

When completed, the airport will be equipped to capacitate an additional 30 million passengers per year, with 42 departure gates connected to 72 gangways.

The client, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), has set a budget of $7.2 billion with delivery scheduled for 2014. Design consultant is Paris-based design consultant Aeroports de Paris and locally-based Dar Al Handasah (Shair & Partners) is on board as project manager.

The first phase, worth $4 billion, includes construction of a 670,000m³ terminal featuring 94 aircraft bays. The second part, worth $3.2 billion, involves construction of a 133m high airport control tower, dubbed the world’s tallest, alongside an 8200-capactity car park, three power generation and cooling centres, data administration centres, and infrastructure and road networks.

Other features of the new airport will include tunnels, corridors, train stations and communications systems; new taxiways, aprons, roads and support facilities.

Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone

Spanning a huge area of 365km2, industrial Zone B makes up stage three of the Khalifa port and industrial Zone project”

Located in Taweelah, between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the 420km² Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone is a project four times the size of Abu Dhabi island.

Partially under construction, it is expected to become one of the world’s biggest industrial zones, with its own dedicated port.

There are three key elements to the project: Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone A, which are both under construction and expected to open in quarter four of 2012, and lastly, Industrial Zone B, on which construction has not yet commenced.

The Khalifa Port occupies an area of 3.4km, including onshore and offshore segments.


Khalifa Port


Total area of the port and industrial zone; Four times the size of Abu Dhabi island


Stage One A of the project, which comprises the offshore quay area, is 2.7km² or the size of nearly 400 football pitches.

Industrial Zone A covers 51km² and is home to the only current anchor tenant Emirates Aluminium (EMAL). Other industries targeted according to sector include: petrochemicals, steel, pharmaceuticals, life sciences, chemicals, biotechnology, food and beverage, metals and logistics. The client, Abu Dhabi Ports Company, expects the zone to be fully occupied by 2018.

Panning a huge area of 365km², Industrial Zone B makes up stage three of the project, comprising among other components: housing, high-technology, light manufacturing and logistics industries.

Infrastructure works are expected to start in 2013.

One of the latest new tenders to be launched for the project was an EPC contract to build a seamless copper pipe mill, with a capacity of 30,000 to 40,000 tons a year of copper tube production.

The latest update by Middle East tenders revealed that Germany’s SMS Group and Italy’s Danieli were the two front runners for the supplier contract.

Hassyan IPP, Dubai

Initially planned as a power and desalination plant, the client Dubai Electricity and Water Authority cancelled the desalination component at the beginning of this year and will now develop the project as an IPP only.

A tender for the main construction contract is expected to be issued by the end of March and a contract will be signed with private developers in quarter two.

The project is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2014 and comprises gas turbines associated with heat-recovery steam generators, auxiliary boilers, back-pressure steam turbines and all associated works.

Raz al-Zour Power and Desalination Plant, Saudi Arabia

?The Raz al-Zour power and Desalination plant will begin supplying the saudi arabian Mining Company (Maaden) with 350MW of power”

The Raz al-Zour plant will be located 75km north-west of the industrial city of Jubail in Saudi Arabia. The desalination plant will use thermal desalination technology to generate at least 70% of the water it produces.

It can also use reverse-osmosis technology to gereate up to 30% of its water.

The client, Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC), expects the plant to produce commercial power by December 1, 2012, with progress on track.


Raz al-Zour Plant


Plant is expected to produce commercial power by 2012


The project will begin supplying the Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) with 350MW of power. The plants are intended for full operation by December 31, 2013. Saudi Aramco will supply 500 million ft³ a day of natural gas as feedstock for the plant. It will also provide diesel oil or Arabian extra-light crude oil as a back up to the natural gas.

Furthermore, the plant will be connected to the Saudi Electricity Company’s grid at 380KV using a new substation at Raz al-Zour.

Saudi Electricity is expected take 1050MW of the plant’s power output, while the client will take 220 million gallons a day of desalinated water.

Last month, German engineering group Siemens was awarded a contract worth more than $1 billion for the supply of components to the combined-cycle power plant and associated seawater desalination facility. Siemens will supply 12 gas turbines, 10 heat-recovery steam generators, five steam turbines along with associated auxiliary and ancillary systems.

GCC Railway project


GCC Rail: KSA to Qatar


The length of the GCC rail track between Saudi Arabia and Qatar


The pan-GCC railway transportation system will run along the coast of the Arab Gulf, proposed to end in Muscat, Oman and Kuwait, passing through Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

There will also be an option for a route from Saudi Arabia to Manama, Bahrain, and a 110km track from Saudi Arabia to Doha in Qatar. The full proposed network also includes a line from Turkey, all the way south along the Red Sea to Yemen, passing through Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

A joint venture between Kuwait’s Global Investment House and Saudi Arabia-based Parsons Brinckerhoff completed a basic preliminary study.

According to a Middle East Tenders update on January 4, 2011, the client Cooperation Council for Arab States of Gulf Secretariat General is expected to commence a study to form the GCC Rail Authority by the end of March once it has gained approval from the six member states.

The new body will oversee development of this project. World Bank is on board as financial consultant, alongside specialist consultancy firms: Canada-based Canarail Consultants, France-based Systra and locally-based Khatib & Alami Consolidated Engineering Company.


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