Belgium’s Besix and Dutch dredging specialist Boskalis have won a contract to start dredging and building quay walls for a seaport to serve Neom, Saudi Arabia’s vast new economic zone planned on its northern Red Sea coast.
It’s the first step in developing the existing Duba Port, now one of the kingdom’s smallest in terms of goods handling, into a global logistics hub. The new port will be surrounded by the “Oxagon”, intended as an advanced manufacturing centre within Neom.
Boskalis will deepen and widen the port’s main access channel, while Besix will design and build some 3km of quay walls in a joint venture with a Saudi consortium called Modern Building Leaders.
Besix described the contract value as “approaching SAR 3 billion”. Three billion Saudi riyals is equivalent to about $800m.
Neom said the award made Besix and Boskalis the first European contractors to win a design-and-build lump sum contract worth more than SAR 2 billion in the Neom scheme.
Separately, Jacobs was named main consultant for a $48m project to design the new port’s terminals, warehouses, rail terminus, and sustainable power supply. Moffatt and Nichol, IGO, and Trent are the main subconsultants on this design project.
“The Port of Neom will be pivotal to the continued commercial competitiveness, economic diversification and maritime trade ambitions of the Kingdom,” said Neom chief executive Nadhmi Al Nasr.
He said the port would be “one of the world’s most technologically advanced, efficient and sustainable”, and that the first terminal was expected to open in 2025.
Sean Kelly, the port’s managing director said the port would help take delivery of goods and materials during Neom’s construction phase.