Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, and more particularly its National Industrial Development and Logistics Programme is well underway. On the 10th of December, the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was accompanied by Energy Minister Khalid Al Falih and Saudi Aramco’s CEO Nasser Amin, to inaugurate the King Salman Energy Project, also known as Spark.
The project is part of Saudi Aramco’s In-Kingdom Total Value Add (IKTVA) programme, which aims at optimising relations between suppliers, manufacturers and service providers in order to enhance the global energy company’s goals and increase its level of local content to 70% by end of 2021. Spark is therefore operated and managed by Aramco in partnership with the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technological Zones. The inauguration ceremony also led to the signature of 12 memoranda of understanding on land leasing and construction with companies such as Baker Hughes GE, Schlumberger, Halliburton, Saudi Information Technological Company and the Al Rushaid Group.
Focusing on upstream, downstream, petrochemicals, power, waste and wastewater, the planned 50km2 energy park is located between two major sources of local workforce: Dammam and Al Ahsa, with a cumulative population of more than 2 million. The park is set to be constructed in three phases, the first to be achieved in 2021 on a surface of 12.5km2 hosting more than 120 investments worth $1.6 billion. By the end of the project, the park would be divided in five regions, each catering for electricity and equipment, general manufacturing, liquids and chemicals, metal formation and industrial services. Spark is not only meant to become a prime destination for manufacturing, petrochemicals and energy, but it also going to host residential, hotel and leisure facilities, as well as a dry port with an annual storage capacity of 8 million metric tonnes of cargo.
Spark is one amongst many mega-projects in the Kingdom that aims to reform and diversify the Saudi economy. To be completed in 2035, the project is set to position Saudi Arabia as a global energy hub by attracting, establishing and encouraging local energy industries which will constitute an industrial base facilitating innovation, development and global competition. Spark will therefore include 10 training centres and seek to foster companies specialising in power generation materials and providing engineering as well as oil field services.
By 2035, Spark is set to bring an annual $6 billion into the Saudi GDP, build 350 new industrial and services facilities, as well as create 100,000 direct and indirect jobs. Indeed, the programme is not only set to bring direct benefits such as employment opportunities, income generation, exports generation and foreign direct investments, but also indirect benefits like local skills development, technological transfer, economic reforms as well as urban and regional development.
Arab News, 9 December 2018, “Saudi Arabia’s crown prince to inaugurate 1st phase of energy park”
Arab News, 10 December 2018, “Saudi Arabia’s crown prince inaugurates King Salman Energy Park project in Dhahran”
Middle East Construction News, Angitha Pradeep, 10 December 2018, “Saudi Aramco to build mega sustainable project, Spark