New industry coming to Ras al-Khair

Here’s another interesting story from Saudi Arabia.


State oil giant Saudi Aramco has extended bidding for dredging and reclamation work at its marine terminal in Ras al-Khair by almost one month, industry sources told Reuters on Wednesday.

Aramco (the national Oil company) are planning to build a large marine terminal in the east of the Country at a place called Ras al-Khair (RAK) – this is a place I know, as I’ve visited there when working on a project for the Saudi national mining company Ma’aden.

Ma’aden are in the middle of a major expansion of their operations in the north of the country (where large phosphate deposits exist) and intend to send some of the products and intermediates by rail to RAK (where they have a fertiliser and animal feed facility at the moment) for further processing and export.

Part of the Ma’aden project was to extend the jetty area around their facility, but this project is;

the first phase of a huge ship repair and shipbuilding complex in the east of the country seen as key in the kingdom’s economic transformation plan.

It’s certainly a prime area for development, with a large expanse of space surrounding the existing RAK port and industrial area. There are already some rail links but I expect these will be upgraded significantly once the marine terminal is built.

As well as the Ma’aden phosphate plant at the site, it’s not too far to other Aramco installations including Ras Tanura, Jubail and Khursaniyah (pictured above).

It’s interesting that Aramco are spearheading the project at this stage although the completed complex will be;

operated by a joint venture between Aramco, the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri), United Arab Emirates-based Lamprell and South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries.

I guess that a large project like this is the sort of thing Aramco has more experience of than any other entity in the Kingdom and when you look at the potential boost to the economy it’s not surprising that they want a piece of it;

Saudi Aramco has said it expects the complex, which is projected to create 80,000 jobs and allow Saudi Arabia to reduce its imports by $12 billion as well as increase gross domestic product by $17 billion, will be fully operational by 2021.

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