German food technology company Gea has won a multimillion-dollar deal to build a 3,000ha olive oil mill in Saudi Arabia’s Al Jouf region.
Gea said it received the order from Nadec, a Saudi Arabian business giant that is regarded as one of the largest agricultural and food processing companies in the Middle East and North Africa.
The contract, the firm said in a statement, is valued at more than $3.4m, and the project is expected to house five million trees.
The Germany company's order marks the second phase of “an ongoing project” that entails the expansion of an oil plant built in 2016.
Phase 2 will involve civil engineering, automation engineering and processes, and all the industrial equipment needed to manage the olive oil plant. Gea said the project “accommodates the combined efforts of several Spanish machine manufacturers”.
Rafael Cárdenas, head of Gea Úbeda's Centre of Excellence for Olive Oil in Spain, said: “Once the construction process is completed, this facility will be the largest and most modern olive oil mill in Asia."
The move comes amid efforts by various Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia, the region’s largest economy, to further their domestic food industries in a bid to lower imports and bolster food security.
In the sultanate, Oman National Engineering and Investment Company will build a cluster of broiler houses as part of Oman's efforts to enhance food security, as reported by Construction Week in October 2018.