RIYADH: The first series of projects implemented as part of Saudi Arabia’s Shareek program were launched on Wednesday.
Framework agreements for 12 projects worth a total of SR192.4 billion ($51.3 billion) in investments were signed during a ceremony held in the presence of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, along with senior government ministers and business leaders.
So far, 28 companies have enrolled in Shareek, which was launched in 2021 by the crown prince in his capacity as chairman of the Large Corporate Investments Committee. The program aims to strengthen partnerships between the public and private sectors and increase the contribution made by large businesses to economic sustainability, in line with the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030.
The 12 projects, which involve eight companies in four industries, were approved under the Shareek incentives criteria. By the end of 2030, the companies will spend SR120.23 billion with the aim of stimulating more than SR466.83 billion in gross domestic product growth by 2040 and creating 64,451 jobs.
Aramco will receive support to advance the development of five of the 12 projects. The first is a manufacturing joint venture that aims to make Saudi Arabia entirely self-sufficient the supply of steel plates by 2030.
The second will bring Google Cloud services to Saudi Arabia and work to establish the country as a hub for advanced cloud-computing technologies.
The Shareek program will also support an Aramco engine-manufacturing project that aims to help develop a sustainable maritime sector and enhance the value of the metals and machinery sectors.
A casting and forging project in Ras Al-Khair aims to help improve the integration of the Kingdom's industrial supply chains, and Aramco will also receive assistance for the launch of the Amiral petrochemical complex project, which will contribute to the localization of chemical production.
ACWA Power, meanwhile, will receive assistance from Shareek for construction of the world’s largest green hydrogen plant, in keeping with the Kingdom’s net-zero emissions ambitions.
Ma’aden, the Saudi Arabian Mining Company, will be supported in the launch its Phosphate 3 project in Wa’ad Al-Shamal. The project is expected to position the company as the world’s third-largest producer of phosphate fertilizers by 2029, and improve the Kingdom’s position in the global agricultural value chain, thereby boosting global food security.
In the petrochemicals sector, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation will receive support for a project to develop the Kingdom’s first catalyst-manufacturing hub. It aims to reduce the country’s reliance on imports and strengthen its export position.
Shareek will also provide assistance to the Advanced Petrochemical Company in the production of methionine. The venture is expected to improve domestic food security.
In the telecoms industry, the Saudi Telecommunication Company will launch an electromagnetic compatibility, or EMC, cable project, which will help to boost Saudi Arabia’s position as a digital hub and reliable route for data traffic in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Zain Saudi Arabia will also accelerate a data-center project that will support the Kingdom’s efforts to develop its digital economy.
Saudi logistics giant Bahri will increase its capacity for ammonia transportation through a project, supported by Shareek, that will for the first time provide ammonia-transportation services in the Kingdom, reducing the reliance on international vessels and boosting the local logistics sector.
Speaking during the ceremony, Abdulaziz Al-Arifi, the CEO of the Shareek program, said the projects will help the eight companies to grow, contribute to their international competitiveness, and have a strong ripple effect across entire value chains.