In­te­gra­tion the key in Saudi Vi­sion 2030 in­dus­trial pro­gramme

The National - News - - BUSINESS - JEN­NIFER GNANA

Saudi Ara­bia is eye­ing in­vest­ments of 1.7 tril­lion riyals (Dh1.6tn) through a pro­gramme that in­te­grates its min­ing, lo­gis­tics and en­ergy in­dus­tries as part of its eco­nomic di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion drive, ac­cord­ing to a govern­ment of­fi­cial.

The in­vest­ments will be ex­clu­sively through the Na­tional In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment and Lo­gis­tics pro­gramme across all sec­tors, Aabed Al Saadoun, the coun­try’s deputy min­is­ter for com­pa­nies af­fairs told The Na­tional. “That is the to­tal in­vest­ment that has been cal­cu­lated and es­ti­mated,” he said.

His port­fo­lio falls un­der the scope of the king­dom’s en­ergy, in­dus­tries adn min­eral re­sources min­istry.

The pro­gramme, which is part of the large um­brella of

NIDLP is tar­get­ing 3.5% year-on-year growth of petro­chem­i­cals in the king­dom to com­pete in the global mar­ket

the king­dom’s Vi­sion 2030 di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion strat­egy, will in­volve the launch of 300 ini­tia­tives that in­clude in­cen­tives and dis­counts across the min­ing, lo­gis­tics and chem­i­cals sec­tors.

“We’re es­ti­mat­ing to be among the top 10 global pro­duc­ers for gold by 2030 and the sec­ond or third in phos­phate,” added Mr Al Saadoun.

NIDLP is tar­get­ing 3.5 per cent year-on-year growth of petro­chem­i­cals in the king­dom to com­pete in the global mar­ket. Saudi Ara­bia, the Ara­bian Gulf’s big­gest petro­chem­i­cals pro­ducer, has al­ready be­gun im­ple­ment­ing large-scale down­stream projects such as the $20 bil­lion oil-to-chem­i­cals scheme on its Red Sea coast.

The king­dom is also in the process of in­te­grat­ing Saudi Ba­sic in­dus­tries Cor­po­ra­tion through the sale of a 70 per cent stake in the re­gion’s big­gest petchems com­pany to Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest’s oil pro­duc­ing com­pany.

The NIDLP scheme will see the de­vel­op­ment of 18 spe­cialty chem­i­cal groups and con­ver­sion seg­ments, said Mr Al Saadoun.

The pro­gramme will also push for the de­vel­op­ment of six in­dus­trial parks spe­cial­is­ing in chem­i­cals and com­pounds, com­ple­ment­ing three cur­rently op­er­a­tional ones, he added.

The parks cur­rently op­er­a­tional are Yanbu and Rabigh on the Red Sea coast, home to sig­nif­i­cant lo­gis­tics and chem­i­cals de­vel­op­ments as well as Jubail in the East­ern prov­ince.

Saudi Aramco and French en­ergy ma­jor To­tal signed an es­ti­mated $9bn agree­ment for the de­vel­op­ment of a new petro­chem­i­cals com­plex in Jubail in Oc­to­ber. Of the planned in­vest­ment, $5bn would be avail­able for en­gi­neer­ing, and de­sign, while the re­main­der would be in­vested in the pro­vi­sion of feed­stock for petchems and spe­cialty chem­i­cal plants, the firms said at the time.

Among the other parks un­der de­vel­op­ment are phos­phate-re­lated schemes at Waed Al­shamal in the north­ern Tu­raif re­gion, the de­vel­op­ment of heavy in­dus­try in the south­ern Jazan re­gion, as well as alu­minium, phos­phate, steel, cop­per and in­dus­trial min­eral projects in the east­ern Ras Al Khair In­dus­trial City.

The de­vel­op­ment of Ras Al Khair as a man­u­fac­tur­ing base has be­come in­creas­ingly im­por­tant for Saudi Ara­bia, with Aramco re­cently sign­ing an agree­ment with US-based Na­tional Oil­well Varco to de­velop a fa­cil­ity for the prod­cu­tion of drilling equip­ment. The NIDLP pro­gramme would of­fer “pref­er­en­tial elec­tric­ity tar­iffs for ten years” within the de­vel­op­ing value parks, with ac­cess to loans “up to 75 per cent of value with a 30-month grace pe­riod”, Mr Al Saadoun said in a pre­sen­ta­tion at a con­fer­ence in Dubai.

Pri­or­ity would be given to lo­cally-man­u­fac­tured prod­ucts through lo­cal con­tent pro­grammes, he added.

Dis­counts will be avail­able for both pri­vate and pub­lic play­ers in the chem­i­cals value chain, de­pend­ing on the cat­e­gories of prod­ucts be­ing de­vel­oped, Mr Al Saadoun said.

The pro­gramme would see the three in­dus­tries of min­ing, lo­gis­tics and en­ergy work­ing “in sync” rather than in com­pe­ti­tion, he said.

“They’re not com­pet­ing with each other. They talk to each other and [are] in sync with each other. So if we de­velop an in­dus­try, we try to see how we can link it to the min­ing and lo­gis­tics and wher­ever re­quired, en­ergy,” he added.

The pro­gramme will in­volve the min­ing, lo­gis­tics and en­ergy sec­tors, said Aabed Al Saadoun Chris Whiteoak / The Na­tional

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