Podcast: Patrick Parsons on Saudi's Neom project and expansion plans
EXCLUSIVE: Patrick Parsons’ Josh Smithson talks to CW about the firm's involvement in megaprojects and its plan in Africa
Engineering consultancy Patrick Parsons has revealed to Construction Week details on how its ecologists have been involved with the Neom megaproject in Saudi Arabia since 2018, across multiple projects stages, including conducting habitat, mammal, bird, and reptile surveys.
During the latest episode of the Construction Week Viewpoint podcast, Patrick Parsons’ environmental consultancy director, Josh Smithson, also discussed the firm's plans to enter the African market, as well as how it aims to establish partnerships and boost its presence in the continent.
Smithson told Construction Week that the firm is highlighting any concerns to construction staff and others working on the 26,500km2 Neom megaproject that may arise from interactions with any potentially hazardous species. Listen to the entire conversation here.
Commenting on their role in Saudi Arabia’s megaprojects, Smithson says: “We were fortunate enough that one of our clients who is undertaking a little work over in Saudi Arabia, contacted us and requested our support because of the ecology work being quite specific.”
“Our team was able to go over and provide that support, undertaking baseline surveys. What that then facilitated was growth into the other projects that are happening in Saudi Arabia at the moment, including The Red Sea Project, and project Amaala.”
Commenting on their expansion plans into the African continent, Smithson says: “We’ve got a staff member who is based in Africa, and we’re looking at partnership opportunities over there in terms of what services we can bring from our side to facilitate other companies over there.”
“One of the opportunities we’re looking at to diversify away from oil and gas activities is the renewable side – working on solar and windfarm developments – and seeing how we can grow our service lines and our support, which we have developed from undertaking similar work both in the UK and the UAE.”
Business leaders are regular podcast special guests. The weekly bulletin has welcomed the likes of Grant Porter, CEO of the Middle East and Africa for Atkins; Anthony Taylor, head of real estate for ENBD-Reit; Lee French, Cundall Middle East’s operations director; and tech entrepreneur Karim Helal, co-founder and chief executive officer of building portal ProTenders.
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