Developers of Neom – a region along the north Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia designed as a blueprint for sustainable urban living with enhanced livability – signed multiple deals to spearhead work on the various components of this futuristic hub.
Work has been flagged off for a railway known as the Connector that will link two key components – The Line, a linear city that extends 170 km and Oxagon, its centre for advanced and clean industries – with the award of a €1.4 billion ($1.53 billion) contract to Italy’s Webuild and its joint venture partner Shibh Al Jazira Contracting Company (Sajco) (see Railways & Metros, Page 9).
In another deal, Neom has signed an agreement with Riyad Bank for SR3 billion ($800 million) in debt financing to help fund the development of Sindalah, marking the first Neom region to be successfully financed with bank debt.
Extending over an area of 840,000 sq m, Sindalah is one of a group of islands that will be developed in Neom, each according to its unique vision and design.
Sindalah is expected to start welcoming guests from early 2024. Neom is working with world-class leisure and hotel brands to make Sindalah an exclusive and glamorous destination in the Red Sea for the world’s yachting community.
Meanwhile, Neom Green Hydrogen Company (NGHC) has announced that following the signing of financial deals with 23 local, regional, and international banks and investment firms, it has now achieved financial close on the world’s largest green hydrogen production facility at a total investment value of $8.4 billion.
The plant is currently being built at Oxagon. NGHC has also concluded the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) agreement with Air Products as the nominated contractor and system integrator for the entire facility.
Air Products is reported to have already awarded major contracts to various technology and construction partners.
Among other developments, the Port of Neom – previously known as Duba Port – has opened for business following SR7.5-billion-plus investment on its first phase development. It has expanded its capabilities including fixed call with CMA CGM, general cargo handling, storage and on-going passenger services.
By the beginning of 2025, the first container terminal will be operational with integrated supply chain and logistics solutions. When completed, the port will operate at net carbon zero levels with 100 per centrenewable energy at source, set to make it the world’s most sustainable next-generation port.
In line with Neom’s strategy and the Saudi Ports Authority’s efforts to transform local ports into globally competitive logistics hubs, the management of Duba Port was transferred from national maritime regulator Mawani, to Neom in 2022.
Contracts for design, dredging and quay wall construction, and cargo handling equipment at the port have been recently awarded. Jacobs was named as the main design consultant with Moffatt and Nichol, IGO and Trent as main subconsultants; the redesign project, valued at over SR180 million, spans terminals, warehouses, rail delivery, infrastructure, a sustainable energy network and more.
A partnership between Boskalis and a joint venture between Besix and Modern Building Leaders (MBL) have secured a design-and-build lumpsum contract worth over SR2 billion for the first phase of the dredging and quay wall construction.
Saudi Liebherr was awarded contracts for 10 mobile harbour cranes. ZPMC has been awarded contracts for 10 ship-to-shore (STS) gantry cranes, 30 electric rubber tiered gantry (ERTGS) cranes and six automated rail-mounted gantry cranes (ARMG) valued at over SR1 billion; ZPMC will be working with Siemens Europe to deliver the automation components.
Meanwhile, Neom is also staging a landmark exhibition entitled, ‘Zero Gravity Urbanism - Principles for a New Livability’, which will run until September 24 at the historic Abbazia di San Gregorio in Venice, Italy. More than 20 of the world’s leading architects, designers and future thinkers led the opening event. Sir Peter Cook, Massimiliano Fuksas, Jean Nouvel and Ben van Berkel were among the world-renowned architects who joined CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr.