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Saudi: 1km-tall Jeddah Tower faces 12-month delay

Jeddah Tower will take around 12 months longer to complete than expected due to funding issues with contractor Saudi Binladin Group, according to its developer Jeddah Economic Company

Completion of Saudi Arabia’s 1km-tall Jeddah Tower will take around 12 months longer than expected, according to developer Jeddah Economic Company (JEC).
Completion of Saudi Arabia’s 1km-tall Jeddah Tower will take around 12 months longer than expected, according to developer Jeddah Economic Company (JEC).

Completion of Saudi Arabia’s 1km-tall Jeddah Tower will take around 12 months longer than expected, according to The National.

Jeddah Economic Company (JEC), the building’s developer, told the UAE daily that the delay was due to a number of factors, including funding issues related to contractor and financial backer, Saudi Binladin Group (SBG).

Delivery of the skyscraper, which is due to become the world’s tallest manmade structure upon completion, was previously slated for next year. Hisham Jomah, chief development officer at JEC, told The National that the project, formerly known as Kingdom Tower, is now expected to complete by the end of 2019.

Commenting on the reasons for the delay, Jomah said: “Basically, it was a financial problem. Until we secured a loan from the bank… to make sure that the cash flow for the contractor is more stable for the time schedule.”

Jomah added that although work never came to a complete halt at the Jeddah Tower site, the rate of progress was significantly impacted. “It came to a very slow pace for a period of time of three to four months,” he told The National.

In addition to its role as contractor at the Jeddah Tower site, SBG owns a 16.66% stake in JEC.

SBG encountered financial difficulties last year when it was suspended from pursuing new contracts in the wake of a fatal crane accident at Makkah’s Grand Mosque. However, reports suggest that sanctions have now been lifted.

A $2.24bn (SAR8.4bn) funding deal has been agreed with Riyadh’s Alinma Bank in a bid to get construction activities at the Jeddah Tower site back on track.

In turn, Jomah and his colleagues hope to increase the rate of advancement from six-to-eight days per floor, to one floor every five days, according to The National’s report.

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Construction Week - Issue 734
Mar 21, 2019