$6 billion worth of factories ongoing in Saudi, to employ 66,000 workforce

Irshad Salim — A total of 816 factories and industrial plants are currently being built in Saudi Arabia with a combined value of $5.8bn, according to a local media report.

The number of factories already operating in the kingdom reached 7,788 plants at the end of the first half of 2017, with a total capital of $291bn (SR1.094tn) and a workforce of near 1 million, the paper added citing the Saudi Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources.

In order to enhance public-private partnerships (IPPs) and independent private projects (PPPs), and further boost its growing industrial sector, the Kingdom is expected to launch a stimulus package in the fourth quarter of the year. The package aims to enhance its non-oil economy with focus on industries also where it could have a competitive advantage, such as the mining sector, a Reuters report said in April this year.

The under construction factories are expected to employ a workforce of 65,816 people.

About 342 factories in the metals and minerals industry are underway, followed by rubber and plastics industry with 128 factories, the food and beverages sector with 59 factories, and the chemical products industry with 55 factories.

In a related note, US giant Bechtel is looking to target more work in the mining and metals sector in the Kingdom as the government attempts to grow the sector as part of its diversification plans.

“Mining and metals is something that is of extreme interest to us,” said Abdulrahman Al Ghabban to The National. Al Ghabban was appointed as Saudi Arabia country manager for the US-based company last month.

“We see the government is going in the right direction in terms of putting in the right framework for companies to come and invest. And we believe mining and metals is [an] untapped sector here in Saudi.”

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