Saudi Crown Prince to attend Aramco megaproject launch next week
Saudi Aramco will break ground on King Salman Energy Park on 10 December
State-owned hydrocarbon heavyweight Saudi Aramco plans to break ground on King Salman Energy Park, dubbed Spark, on 10 December, 2018.
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince, HRH Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz, will attend the ceremony at which Aramco will fire the starter pistol for construction of the megaproject, located in the kingdom's Eastern Province.
The groundbreaking ceremony for Spark will be held at the Great Hall, King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture in Dhahran.
Spark is one of the country's anchor megaprojects underpinning Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 strategy for social and economic change.
A huge industrial hub for energy-related manufacturing and services, Spark will create thousands of jobs, both direct and indirect, acting as a catalyst for economic growth in the kingdom. It will also spur innovation in the energy sector, which Saudi Arabia is keen to accelerate as it explores renewable and nuclear options to diversify its power mix.
Aramco will be the main tenant at the integrated energy complex, which will also be home to some of the world's top names in the energy businesses. The sprawling industrial and residential site will feature public infrastructure, logistics facilities and a dry port, a commercial and residential area, and training centres.
Aramco has not officially confirmed the value nor the size of the project, but Construction Week's sister title Arabian Business, citing a report from JLL, reported that Spark will provide a $6bn (SAR22.5bn) boost to the country's gross domestic product per year upon completion in 2035.
Spark will be one of several megaprojects that Saudi Arabia is looking to kick off. Another one is an industrial complex that will convert crude oil to chemicals in Yanbu, and be co-built with Sabic.
Aramco is also building two man-made islands called Site A and B to support oil drilling in the Berri offshore field located off the kingdom's eastern seaboard.