Drake & Scull wins US $533m Saudi research centre

Saudi arm to build energy research hub as regional expansion continues

The company has dedicated 'major resources' to Saudi Arabia, according to Tabari, CEO.
The company has dedicated 'major resources' to Saudi Arabia, according to Tabari, CEO.

Drake & Scull Construction Saudi Arabia, the civil engineering arm of Drake & Scull International outside the UAE, has been awarded a contract to build the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) in Riyadh worth SAR 2 billion.

KAPSARC is a research and policy centre focused on energy and environmental exploration and analysis, developed by Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company. Designed by architect Zaha Hadid, the project is composed of a network of three-dimensional, six-sided cells with many junctions and bonds, situated near King Khalid International Airport.

The company had been linked with the project since two sources close to the matter last month told Bloomberg that the deal had effectively been agreed.

Dubai-listed Drake & Scull International has for the last year embarked on an aggressive expansion strategy across the Middle East as it seeks to diversify away from its core discipline of MEP. In 2010 it completed the purchase of its Qatar and Kuwait offices, grew organically in Oman and Syria, and set up Saudi-based Drake & Scull Construction. It is also soon to announce the acquisition of a civil contracting firm in Saudi Arabia, a move intended to boost the company’s offering in the civil engineering sector.

Last year the company secured a total value of AED 1.2 billion in contracts in Saudi Arabia across MEP, civil and water and power projects.

“We are delighted to have been selected to execute such an iconic project in Saudi Arabia which substantiates our continuous effort to further expand and momentously grow in this promising country,” said Khaldoun Tabari, CEO of DSI. “We have been dedicating major resources into fortifying and streamlining the newly established entity in Saudi Arabia which has already secured a SR 450 million contract for Al Jawharah project in Jeddah, during the second quarter of 2010.”

“Our commitment to increase the contribution of DSI projects in Saudi is materialising and we expect the kingdom to continue to be our largest market in the region in 2011.”

Drake & Scull International shares rose 0.9% to AED 1.09 Sunday morning, having finally managed to sustain a value above the AED 1 mark at the end of December for the first time since late November 2009.

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