Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea project awarded contracts worth 14.5bn riyals last year

Majority of contracts were won by Saudi companies, according to a new report from the developer

The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) awarded contracts worth 14.5 billion Saudi riyals ($3.86bn) in 2020 as the company pushes ahead with the construction of a mega tourism project on the country’s west coast.

In total, the company awarded 500 contracts, with local companies clinching 70 per cent of the deals, TRSDC said in its inaugural sustainability report on Monday.

Some of the key contracts awarded in 2020 include the delivery of an airside package of works to an all-Saudi joint venture, as well as for construction of coastal village workers' accommodation, as well as management accommodation, studio apartments and townhouses on the same site. Contracts were also awarded for the construction of a hotel and for site-wide wastewater and sewage treatment.

TRSDC worked with the kingdom's General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises, also known as Monsha'at, to encourage local companies to bid for work and is also encouraging local investors to take part.

"The Red Sea Project offers numerous investment opportunities, enabling companies of different sizes and sectors to contribute to this one-of-a-kind development, elevating the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's position as a global investment powerhouse," TRSDC's chief executive John Pagano said in the report.

TRSDC, which is owned by the kingdom’s Public Investment Fund, is developing 16 hotels with 3,000 rooms across five islands and two inland sites as part of the first phase of the project on Saudi Arabia’s west coast. The project is expected to welcome its first guests by the end of 2022, when the international airport and first hotels are due to open.

Upon completion in 2030, The Red Sea project will comprise 50 resorts, offering up to 8,000 hotel rooms and more than 1,000 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites.

The project is expected to generate 22bn riyals of revenue annually by 2030 and 464bn in cumulative revenues through its construction cycle and its 10 years of steady operation by 2040, according to the report. It is also expected to support 70,000 jobs by 2040.

It will be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy and will house the “largest off-grid renewable energy systems in the world and the world’s largest tourism destination to be powered solely by renewable energy,” according to the report.

Last year, the company signed a 25-year PPP agreement that includes the delivery of sustainable energy to power utilities covering phase one of the project.

“Through this PPP, we expect to generate up to 650,000 megawatt hours of 100 per cent renewable energy to supply the destination and other utility systems over the course of the concession agreement,” it said.

The company is currently exploring various options to capture large amounts of carbon dioxide each year by adopting large scale marine microalgae production farms, enhancing biologically diverse habitats, adopting nature-based solutions for removing carbon and direct air capturing.
Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia's Acwa Power signed an agreement with Dubai-based Neutral Fuels to supply net-zero biofuel – a clean form of fuel that lowers emissions – to power transportation work at the site.

In April, TRSDC secured 14.12bn riyals in funding through the first locally-denominated Green Financing credit facility.

The developer raised the capital through term loans and revolving credit facilities from four banks in Saudi Arabia to fund construction work.

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