AECOM wins design contract for Saudi Arabia’s $500bn NEOM

The American firm will design transport and utilities infrastructure as well as provide environmental and geotechnical support

Chief projects officer of NEOM, Brett Smythe: "[NEOM] will be a beacon for future living."
CW Archives/ SPA
Chief projects officer of NEOM, Brett Smythe: "[NEOM] will be a beacon for future living."

New York Stock Exchange-listed infrastructure consulting firm AECOM has been appointed to design transport and utilities infrastructure for Saudi Arabia’s $500bn (SAR1.9tn) NEOM gigaproject, located in the northwest of the kingdom.

In a stock market filing AECOM revealed that its scope will also include environmental and geotechnical support.

Speaking about the contract win, AECOM’s president, Lara Poloni, said: “We are excited to be playing such a pivotal part in delivering one of the world’s largest and most complex infrastructure projects.”

Poloni added: “Our global multi-disciplinary team of experts will bring together a diverse set of skills to deliver a sustainable project that will connect communities and create thousands of jobs across Saudi Arabia.”

In July 2019, AECOM was appointed to provide project management consultancy (PMC) services for Phase 1 construction activities in NEOM.

Speaking about the agreement, chief projects officer of NEOM, Brett Smythe, said: “NEOM’s next generation cognitive cities will support its cutting-edge urban environments, improving the lives of residents and businesses far beyond the capabilities of today’s smart cities.

“It will be a beacon for future living,” added Smythe.

Meanwhile AECOM Arabia’s president and CEO, Ian Laski, stressed that the agreement was a testament to the firm’s “local presence, global reach, and track record of delivering projects that enable economic diversification in the Kingdom”.

AECOM said that digitalisation will play a key role in delivering the core scope of services within the programme requirements, as well as achieving the vision for technological advancement.

The delivery team will adopt a data-led process, providing information-rich 3D models and geospatial data. Additionally, the digital delivery processes will also enable collaboration across global teams and provide them with the tools to efficiently design for construction.

Commenting on the innovation-led project, AECOM’s program director, Bill Price, said: “In order to accelerate the delivery of this transformative project, our global team will be using the latest innovations to deliver a 100% digital design.

“Digital tools will play a vital role in the collaborative approach and stakeholder engagement, with quickly produced visualisations that are built from live design data that is geospatial accurate, enabling and unlocking the power of a data-driven design,” added Price.

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