KAEC building programme to be accelerated

Developer plans to finish Industrial Valley within five years

NEWS, Business

Development of the Industrial Valley being built at King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) is being accelerated to meet demand.

The area, which makes up around one-third (63mn m2) of the 189mn m2 city, already contains an operational Mars factory and a new Pfizer plant, will contain a $167mn Jaguar Land Rover plant and a $320mn (SR1.2bn) car assembly plant owned by Toyota distributor Abdul Lateef Jameel.

Speaking at Construction Week's Jeddah Infrastructure Conference last week, Mike Chihoski, chief operating officer of the city's developer, Emaar the Economic City,said that the city's huge 14mn m2 port was proving to be a draw for investors.

"We had 20 years to build out the industrial valley. Because of the port, we’re now projected to see (it) out within five years," he said.

The first part of the container port became operational at the end of last year and it currently has a capacity to handle 1.8mn twenty foot-equivalent container units (TEUs) a year. Once complete, it will handle 20mn TEUs, making it one of the top five ports in the world.

Chihoski said that 25% of global sea traffic passes through the Red Sea, and with the old port at Jeddah already operating at capacity "there’s a huge opportunity to capture this".

"Today, most of that traffic goes around to Dubai, adding five days to transport. 70% of the goods that go into the port of Dubai then move on truck back into Saudi Arabia. It’s a very inefficient system."



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