Saudi King to launch $23bn mega city for mining sector

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Time: November 22, 2018

   

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will today (November 22) inaugurate Phase One of Waad Al Shamaal, a SR85-billion ($23 billion) mega city for mining industries which will come up over a sprawling 440-sq-km area in the country’s northern region, reported Al Arabiya TV citing the Energy Minister Khalid Al Falih.

The project is part of an industrial scheme aimed at opening up Saudi Arabia’s north to development that will boost job creation, stated Al Falih.

Mining is key to the kingdom’s reform plan to diversify its economy away from hydrocarbons, as the government aims to more than triple this sector’s contribution to the nation’s economic output by 2030.

The project is being developed in two phases with Phase One worth SR55 billion being inaugurated today (November 22), reported Arab News.

In the past two months, the king has visited a number of major cities, announcing projects and initiatives to develop the kingdom in line with Vision 2030, a broad strategic plan to diversify the country’s economy and end its dependence on oil revenues.

King Salman last evening unveiled projects worth over SR10.5 billion at Arar in the Northern Border Region as part of his multi city-tour of Saudi Arabia.

Earlier on Tuesday, he had inaugurated 242 development projects worth SR10 billion in the northern Al Jouf province, in the presence of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif, Cultural Minister Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan and Al Jouf Governor Prince Badr bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, said the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

A total of 21 projects will be implemented by the Ministry of Health, 77 covering the key sectors of energy, industrial and mining sectors besides water and agriculture, it stated.

King Salman later inaugurated several development projects including 20 road projects worth SR628 million in the region, said the Arab News report.

The work involves addition of lanes to other roads, and construction of secondary roads and junctions on existing roads, it added.

This article was first published in Trade Arabia

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