King inaugurates first phase of Waad Al-Shamaal Industrial City project in Turaif Province and lays foundation for the projects and facilities of the city’s second phase
The finished project will make the Kingdom the second largest producer of phosphate fertilizers in the world
King has also unveiled SAR 10.5 billion and SAR 10 billion in development projects for the Northern Borders Region and Al-Jouf Region during this week’s visit to northern region, the latest leg of a nationwide tour
TURAIF, Saudi Arabia, Nov 22 (CIC) – King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia on Thursday unveiled an SAR 86-billion project for a new integrated industrial city near Turaif in the Northern Borders Region with an aim to boost the country’s mining infrastructure. This comes on heels of the inauguration of development projects worth SAR 10.5 billion and SAR 10 billion for the Northern Borders Region and Al-Jouf Region, respectively, during a visit this week to the north of the Kingdom.
King Salman inaugurated the first phase of the project of the integrated mining city in Turaif province – dubbed Waad Al-Shamaal Industrial City –– which has a total cost of SAR 55 billion and laid the foundation for the projects and facilities of the second phase of the city, to be executed at a cost of SAR 31 billion. The new city will boost the economy in the area and create thousands of jobs.
The royal visits to the Northern Borders Region and Al-Jouf were the latest stopovers of a nationwide royal tour that began earlier this month. During the visits, the King is launching or inaugurating many projects and initiatives, according to the needs of those regions and their people. He is accompanied by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, other princes, cabinet ministers and other officials.
The development projects were inaugurated in the presence of the Crown Prince, who is spearheading the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 roadmap for the future based on economic diversification away from oil.
Construction of Waad Al-Shamaal Industrial City – 15 kilometres northeast of Turaif city — started in 2014 following a decision by the Council of Ministers, according to the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
The city includes the necessary infrastructure for industry. A 290 square-kilometre area has been allocated to Waad Al-Shamaal, in addition to an adjacent land of 150sqkm for Maaden Company to develop a phosphate industry, which is the core project of the city. By finishing the second phase of the city, the Kingdom’s production of phosphate fertilizers will increase to 9 million tonnes annually, making it the second largest producer in the world, SPA said.
Waad Al-Shamaal also includes a service area, an unconventional gas-production centre, an industrial zone, a residential city, a mining institute, as well as infrastructure buildings, including the administrative buildings of MODON, the integrated power plant; water plants and projects attached to three piers that have been built and dedicated to Ras Al Khair Port on the Arabian Gulf coast; and a railway linking the city with Wasit factories of Saudi Aramco and Ras Al Khair Industrial City.
The Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Khalid Al-Falih, in a speech welcoming King Salman at the inauguration of Waad Al-Shamaal Project, said: “The Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which was the fruit of your insight and the result of the blessed efforts of HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, has come to boost the energy of our beloved people towards the launching of many ambitious development programs, in order to achieve this vision, and the result of it was the launch of the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP), whose star will rise, God willing, in the skies of giant national achievements.”
Al-Falih added: “Here is the city of Waad Al-Shamaal, located in the Turaif Province, the last pumping station on the Tapline line previously, and today the first station of the giant national phosphate industry which kicks off from this complex.”
Al-Falih said that the Northern Border Region of the Kingdom has about seven per cent of the world’s phosphate reserves. However, the development, along with exploiting these stocks, poses a geographical, logistical and coordination challenge, due to their location deep in the desert.
“Today, you inaugurate the first phase of Waad Al-Shamaal projects, in which the Kingdom’s investments amount to SAR 55 billion,” Al-Falih said, addressing the King. Cooperation between Saudi government institutions, major national companies, Saudi private sector institutions and international investors, made Waad Al-Shamaal project a reality, he added.
Al-Falih said this project gives a new and clear example of the leadership’s determination to implement its vision, noting that the Kingdom’s investments amounts to SAR 31 billion in the second phase, which includes phosphate fertilizer plant with a capacity of three million tons annually, as well as completion of the development of the infrastructure. When this phase is completed, the Kingdom’s production will rise to 9 million tonnes annually, making the Kingdom the second largest producer of phosphate fertilizers in the world, in addition to supporting national income, the minister said.
In a statement carried earlier this week by SPA, Al-Falih had said Waad Al-Shamaal project reflects fruition of Vision 2030 “which ushers in a new era of sustainable development, economic prosperity and diversification of income sources, by providing the basis for success to formulate specific investment opportunities in the mining sector, one that the Kingdom is working to make the third pillar of the Saudi economy, along with the oil and petrochemical industries.
Waad Al-Shamaal will also serve as a major platform for promoting economic and social renaissance of the northern border region, he said. “Waad Al-Shamaal will be a key pillar of the national economy and ensure the desired development goals are achieved,” he said.
The city translates the strategy of national industrial development and logistics programmes by enabling the logistics, energy and mining sectors to achieve the maximum economic impact, where the programme aims to contribute SAR1.2 trillion to the GDP by and create 1.6 million jobs, in addition to attracting investments estimated by SAR1.6 trillion by 2030.
NATIONWIDE ROYAL TOUR
On Wednesday evening, King Salman inaugurated a total of 65 development projects with a total cost of SAR 10.5 in the Northern Borders Region. Among them were three projects for the Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources (Saudi Electricity Company) amounting to a total cost of SAR 4.57 billion.
They also include a project for the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage worth SAR 95.6 million; a total of 16 Ministry of Health projects in the region at a total cost of SAR 773.3 million; eight Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs projects at a total of SAR 968.2 million; 12 Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture projects amounting to SAR 482.4 million; and four Ministry of Housing projects at SAR 691.5 million.
On the list were also 17 education projects in both the Northern Border University and the Education Administration in the region at a total of SAR 2.09 billion; Ministry of Finance (General Authority of Customs) project with a total value of SAR 259.4 million; two Ministry of Transport projects of SAR 109 million total cost; and a white cement project worth SAR 500 million.
In a speech on Monday to the Shura Council to mark the inauguration of the activities of the third year of the seventh session of the assembly, King Salman touched on recent and upcoming trips across the country, saying they stem from his keenness to meet citizens and view development projects there.
In Al-Jouf, King Salman watched on Tuesday a presentation on 242 development projects worth about SAR 10 billion in the region, before inaugurating the projects, SPA reported. They include projects for Al-Jouf University worth SAR 3.627 billion; the Ministry of Education valued at SAR 578.8 million;Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture at a cost of SAR 839.6 million; Ministry of Transport worth SAR 627.9 million; Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs worth SAR 682 million; Ministry of Interior at SAR 541.5 million; and Ministry of Health at SAR 310.9 million.
The budget for government projects announced this week for the north-western region of Tabuk was SAR 6.89 billion. The projects will significantly boost development as they cover a range of segments such as education, roads and highways, municipal buildings, parks, port and other infrastructure, as well as museums. In Tabuk, the King was briefed on the masterplan and progress on Amaala, the ultra-luxury tourism destination on the Kingdom’s north-western coast. He was accompanied by the Crown Prince, who is the Chairman of the founding board of the project.
In the central region of Qassim earlier this month, King Salman marked the completion of 402 projects across 12 government sectors, worth SAR 12.15 billion, and laid the foundations for 199 new or planned projects across five government sectors there, worth SAR 4.2 billion. Meanwhile, in Hail in the northwest, the King had unveiled development projects worth more than SAR 7 billion.