The Middle East’s construction industry has had a successful Q1 2019, with the region witnessing several construction contracts being awarded to major builders both from the region, as well as global markets such as India and Egypt.
Notable progress was also made on construction schemes during the month. Construction work on Dubai Metro’s extension to the Expo 2020 Dubai site through its Red Line, called Route 2020, noted 70% completion in March 2019. In the same month, Oman’s Tender Board approved 13 construction, consultancy and leasing contracts worth $250m (OMR98m).
Later in the month, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, revealed that construction work on four $23bn (SAR86bn) urban development projects in Saudi Arabia, which will include the world’s largest park, will begin this year.
This optimism extended construction contract awards during the month, and some of the world's successful engineering companies, such as McDermott, Larsen & Toubro (L&T), Acwa Power, and Besix were awarded work in March 2019.
The Middle East's top construction contracts of March 2019 were:
• Besix – Belgium Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai
• CSCEC ME and SK Engineering and Construction – Etihad Rail Package A
• Hill International – Egypt’s Taj City, Sarai
• HCT – Dubai South’s first solar plant
• Acwa Power consortium – Oman IPP solar plant
• Thyssenkrupp-Petrojet – fertiliser complex in Egypt’s Ain El Sokhna
• Larsen & Toubro – coke plant in Oman
• Fluence, Hassan Allam JV – Egypt desalination plant
• Khansaheb – Mövenpick Hotel in Dubai
• Gea – Nadec’s olive oil plant in Saudi Arabia
1. Besix to build Belgium and France pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai
Belgium-headquartered construction contractor, partly-owned by Dubai- and Egypt-listed Orascom Construction, Besix will build its national pavilion for Expo 2020 Dubai. A zero-waste structure driven by ‘eco-design’, the green ark-shaped pavilion will feature the theme of ‘Smart and Green Belgium 2050’.
Local and bio-sourced materials, including recycled and recyclable products “and virtuous loops” will be used to build Expo 2020 Dubai’s Belgium pavilion.
Besix will also build France's mobility-inspired pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai site. The company will deliver construction and layout services for the pavilion that is based in the theme of light and mobility.
2. CSCEC ME and SK Engineering and Construction wins Etihad Rail Package A
A joint venture (JV) between China’s construction heavyweight, China State Construction Engineering Corporation Middle East (CSCEC ME) and South Korea’s SK Engineering and Construction (SK E&C) was awarded a contract for Package A of Etihad Rail in Abu Dhabi.
The companies will jointly design and build, and provide civil and track works on the $408.4m (AED1.5bn) 139km Package A of Etihad Rail’s 605km Stage 2, which will connect Ruwais with Ghuweifat on the UAE border, with Saudi Arabia.
3. Hill International wins work on Egypt’s Taj City, Sarai
New York Stock Exchange-listed Hill International won a contract to provide project management services for Taj City and Sarai, two mixed-use megaprojects under development by Egypt bourse-listed Madinet Nasr for Housing and Development (MHND) in Egypt.
The value of the contract was not disclosed by both the companies.
4. HCT wins EPC contract for Dubai South’s first solar plant
HCT Technical Services was awarded an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract by South energy, the energy arm of Dubai South, to build a two megawatt-peak (MWp) solar power plant.
Once completed the plant will meet at least 40% of the masterplanned community’s electricity needs. Dubai South’s first solar power plant, it will power the economic zone's headquarters building, as well as four of its freight complexes.
5. Acwa Power consortium wins Oman IPP solar plant
Kuwait's Gulf Investment Corporation and Alternative Energy Projects Company will work alongside Acwa Power to work on the contract, which saw bidders such as Abu Dhabi’s Masdar and Japan’s Marubeni Corporation.
6. Thyssenkrupp-Petrojet bag EPC for fertiliser complex in Egypt’s Ain El Sokhna
A consortium of German conglomerate Thyssenkrupp’s plant engineering business and Egyptian contractor Petrojet had secured an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract from Egyptian chemical and fertiliser manufacturer El Nasr Company for Intermediate Chemicals (NCIC), to construct a fertiliser complex in Ain El Sokhna, in Egypt’s Suez Governorate.
A Thyssenkrupp statement notes that the value of the order is worth more than $113m (€100m). The plant is expected to start operations in 2022 and will be able to produce up to 399,161 tonnes (t) of ammonia, 344,730t of urea, and 272,155t of calcium ammonium nitrate annually.
7. L&T awarded EPC, Feed contract for Oman’s coke plant
Indian contracting and engineering behemoth Larsen & Turbo (L&T) bagged an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract to build a $450m (OMR173.3m) coke calciner project in Sohar, Oman, which will be funded by Saleem Industrial Projects (SIP) and BSW Group Holdings.
On 26 March 2019, SIP's chairman, Tawfiq Ali Salmeen al Lawati, told Construction Week that L&T had been awarded the contract based on its "long presence and experience in the region".
Tawfiq Coke Products Oman, an SIP company, will reportedly produce 450,000 tonnes (t) of calcined petroleum coke annually through the plant.
8. Fluence, Hassan Allam JV secured EPC contract for Egypt desalination plant
A joint venture between Australian Securities Exchange-listed (AXS) Fluence Corporation an Egypt’s Hassan Allam EPC, The International Co for Water Services & Infrastructure (IWSI) was awarded a $74m engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract to design and build a seawater desalination plant to serve Egypt's under-development New Mansoura City.
According to a statement on Fluence’s website the project is expected to be operational in 18 months, upon which the plant will have a capacity of 40,000m3 per day, with a future expansion capacity of 80,000m3 per day.
9. Khansaheb wins refurb contract for Mövenpick Hotel in Dubai
Khansaheb, the UAE-subsidiary of UK-headquartered construction and support services company Interserve was awarded a $9.2m (AED34.7m) contract to design, build, and refurbish a Mövenpick Hotel & Apartments-branded property in Dubai.
Under a contract signed with Enaba Hospitality, Khansaheb will work on the 255-key property providing services such as upgrading guestrooms, suites, and corridors in compliance with the latest building regulations in Dubai.
10. Gea wins contract for Nadec’s olive oil plant in Saudi Arabia
Düsseldorf-headquartered German food technology company Gea was awarded a multimillion-dollar contract by Saudi Arabian Stock Exchange-listed National Agricultural Development Company (Nadec) to build a 3,000ha olive oil mill in Saudi Arabia’s Al Jouf region.
The order from Nadec, one of the largest agricultural and food processing companies in the Middle East and North Africa, has been valued at over $3.4m, according to Gea’s statement.
The contract, which is expected to house five million trees once complete, signifies second phase of an ongoing project that involves expansion of an oil plant built in 2016.