RIYADH: Industrial development plans in Ras Al-Khair Industrial City have contributed to attracting investments amounting to SAR100 billion ($26.67 billion), the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Ras Al-Khair is a sprawling complex located on Saudi Arabia’s northeastern coast. It includes a port, a power plant for desalinating water and producing electricity, in addition to a railway line linking the complex to bauxite and phosphate mines.
The Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu has been tasked with developing and managing mining industries in Ras Al-Khair, as well as setting targets and creating future expansion plans with partners to establish a city for mining industries.
The SAR100 billion comes from the public and private sectors including the phosphate, aluminium, copper, zinc and iron industries.
Saudi Arabia wants to diversify sources of income and exploit mining resources as just 3 percent of these have been tapped in the Kingdom. It also wants to create an estimated 91,000 job opportunities once the entire industrial zone is completed, an area of 179 square kilometers.
The first stage of the expansion strategy included building a phosphate industry complex, putting the Kingdom on the map as a major supporter of food security and the second-largest supplier of phosphate fertilizers to agricultural countries. The expansion strategy also featured building an aluminum complex which will be the foundation for many manufacturing industries, including engines and auto parts.
The construction of an industrial port and desalination plant has also aided the development of Ras Al-Khair. The Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu in 2016 signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Saudi Aramco and updated the general plan of Ras Al- Khair to include an industrial complex for marine industries and services which was called King Salman International Complex for Maritime Industries and Services.
King Salman International Complex for Maritime Industries and Services includes a ship-building zone consisting of two dry docks, industrial buildings to manufacture ship engines, another area for the manufacture of offshore platforms and excavators, a zone for ship repair and maintenance, and a special area for marine supply vessels that contains a number of dry anchors and cranes for the repair and construction of marine supply vessels.
The MoU says the complex will be developed through Saudi Aramco, while the development of the offshore cluster area will be done by the Royal Commission.