GENERAL

  • MENA’s population is projected to increase by more than 40% over the next few decades, and industrial demand is growing alongside it. The region will need to invest over US100 billion a year to maintain existing and create new infrastructure to serve the growing communities and cities across the region. [Source: The World Bank, Middle East and North Africa Region]
  • Bahrain and Saudi Arabia signed contracts worth US$300 million for a new oil pipeline to replace one that no longer has enough capacity to meet Bahrain’s demand. The new pipeline will carry 350,000 barrels of crude per day between the countries, the Energy Minister of Bahrain said.
  • Saudi Arabia has budgeted US$385 billion on roads, airports and energy projects over a five-year period with another US$30 billion worth of contracts under way or at the bidding stage for infrastructure projects,” said Corey Henry, senior logistics specialist for CB&I Oil & Gas. “An estimated US$6 billion a year will be invested to bolster the water sector over the next two decades and another US$70 billion by 2018 to add 22MW to the nation’s power-generating capacity.”
  • Research by Timetric predicts Qatar, Saudi Arabia and U.A.E. as the countries with the fastest rate of construction growth between 2016 and 2020.
  • Qatar’s construction growth has been bolstered by public investment in infrastructure projects, anticipating events such as the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the National Vision 2030.
  • Saudi Arabia’s efforts to diversify its economy includes investment in buildings and infrastructure, as strong fiscal position is expected to shield public investment plans from the potential threat posed by the recent drop in oil prices.
  • The United Arab Emirates’ role as a leading center for tourism and business will mean that it is likely to continue to attract investment in the commercial buildings sector. Major infrastructure projects include expansion of the Dubai metro, an Abu Dhabi metro and light-rail network and preparations for EXPO 2020 in Dubai.

ENERGY, OIL & GAS PROJECTS

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  • U.S. engineering conglomerate GE said it will supply four gas turbines and construction services for the Waad Al Shamal combined cycle power plant in Saudi Arabia. The US$1 billion contract will see GE provide engineering, procurement and construction services for the proposed 1,390-megawatt turnkey power plants. The plant will be owned and operated by Saudi Electricity Co., or SEC.
  • Bahrain’s national oil and gas authority has given approval for an international consortium, called Bahrain LNG and consisting of Nogaholding, Teekay LNG Partners, Samsung C&T and Gulf Investment Corp., to develop a receiving and regasification terminal in the country under a 20-year agreement from July 2018. The firms will construct the new terminal in the Hidd Industrial zone at the southeastern extremity of Muharraq Island.
  • Hyundai Heavy Industries and Lamprell Energy have joined the joint venture developing a proposed shipbuilding and maintenance complex in Saudi Arabia. Existing partners National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) and state oil company Saudi Aramco amended their expired memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the complex to include the participation of South Korea’s HHI and UAE-based Lamprell Energy, which is part of London-listed Lamprell plc.
  • Italian energy firm Eni is to develop further oil exploration activities in Egypt. The firm signed three amendments to its existing concessions that it operates in partnership with BP at Sinai 12 and Abu Madi, North Port Said and Baltim. The firm also signed a new concession agreement, in partnership with ENGIE, to develop the Ashrafi site. It is expected the development of these fields will lead to investments of more than US$2 billion over the next four years.
  • CB&I has secured an award worth about US$2.8 billion from Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Co. for its Liwa Plastics Industrial Complex Project in Sohar, Oman. The engineering, procurement and construction contract was awarded to a joint venture between CB&I and CTCI Corp., Taiwan.

PORTS

Port Expansion Throughout Middle East
  • Oman’s Sohar port and freezone handled more than 50 million tons of cargo in 2015, a 12 percent increase from 2014, representing an average of almost one million tons a week. With the first full year of traffic from port Sultan Qaboos, container traffic at Sohar jumped 62% from 2014. Sohar port also saw an increase in break bulk cargo to over 1.9 million tons, a 46% rise from 2014.
  • The Port of Salalah, situated in southern Oman along the Arabian Sea, has opened a new deep water general cargo and liquid bulk terminal, operated by APM Terminals. The new terminal’s 1,266-meter quay with an 18-meter depth features two 320-meter long general cargo berths and two 300-meter long liquid bulk berths. The government of Oman built the terminal at a cost of 55 million Omani Rials (U.S. $143 million).
  • The Khalifa Port Container Terminal (KPCT) at Khalifa Port in the United Arab Emirates will take delivery of new equipment in 2016 and 2017 as part of a new phase of expansion that will increase the terminal’s annual throughput capacity from 1.9 million TEUs to 2.5 million TEUs, terminal operator Abu Dhabi Terminals  said.
  • DP World says it has signed a storage and shipping deal with Dow Chemical, aimed at supporting the U.S. company’s plan to establish its regional trading centre at the Jebel Ali port. Dow Chemical is developing its US$20 billion Sadara petrochemicals plant in a joint venture with Saudi Aramco. The plant is in Jubail Industrial City II, on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province.

RAIL

Rail Network
  • According to MEED Projects, there are US300 billion worth of rail and metro projects are planned or under execution in Gulf Cooperation Council countries, led by Saudi Arabia with more than US100 billion worth of projects planned or under construction. Qatar has a rail and metro project pipeline valued at US40 billion, while the UAE, Egypt, Iran, Kuwait and Oman have US10 billion to US30 billion worth of stated investments in railway projects.
  • Qatar, Oman and the UAE have tendered their first sections of the integrated 2,177-kilometer GCC Railway. The planned GCC railway will link six Gulf Cooperation Council member states, running down the Gulf coast from Kuwait, through Saudi Arabia, to the U.A.E. and Oman, with branches linking Bahrain and Qatar. The network, which will cost an estimated US$20 billion, will include about 180 kilometers of connecting lines to key industrial zones and ports. Geographic segments are: Kuwait, 145 kilometers; Saudi Arabia, 695 kilometers; Bahrain, 64 kilometers; Qatar, 283 kilometers; U.A.E, 684 kilometers; and Oman, 306 kilometers. The project is schedule for completion in 2018, but may take longer.
  • United Arab Emirates’ Federal Transport Authority granted Etihad Rail final safety authorization in December for the 264-kilometer Shah-Habshan-Ruwais line, moving toward commercial operations on the first phase of the country’s national railway network The railway is operated and maintained by a joint venture of Etihad Rail and German Rail. Etihad Rail plans to carry more than 7 million tonnes of sulphur per year from Shah and Habshan to the port of Ruwais. In 2015 about 3 million tonnes of sulphur was transported during railway trials on behalf of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. A second phase of the US$11 billion Etihad Rail project, a 628-kilometer track linking Mussafah, Khalifa Port and the Jebel Ali Port as well as Saudi border through Ghweifat and the Omani border through Al Ain, has been postponed.
  • Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority plans to extend its above-ground metro train line to the World Expo site. The company is in talks with banks and contractors, seeking US$2 billion to extend the line from the Nakheel Harbour and Tower Metro station to the Expo 2020 site south of Dubai. Dubai’s government said it expects to double the number of visitors to the emirate to 20 million by the time of the international trade and tourism event in four years. The city may spend about US$8 billion on infrastructure including hotels, metro rail links and shopping malls.