A consortium led by Daewo Engineering & Construction (E&C) has presented a master plan on May 12 to build a new city in Saudi Arabia.
The new city development project would be implemented jointly by the Saudi government and a consortium consisting of Daewoo E&C, Hanwha E&C and SAPAC.
The cost of the project is estimated at about $20 billion (approximately 23 trillion won). It is expected to be the biggest-ever overseas construction project won in Korean history. The project calls for the construction of a new city of Dahyat Alfursan , in an area covering 40 sq. km 12 km east of King Khalid International Airport in the Saudi capital of Riyadh. It’s roughly double the size of Bundang, a satellite city south of Seoul.
In March 2016, the Daewoo E&C, Hanwha E&C, SAPAC consortium signed an MOU on the project with the Saudi Ministry of Housing. Under the agreement, both sides have established detailed plans.
Among those on hand at the presentation session were Saudi Minister of Housing Majed al-Hogail and ministry officials, as well as Korean Amb. to Saudi Arabia Kwon Pyung-oh, Daewoo E&C President Park Chang-min, Hanwha E&C President Choi Kwang-ho, and Chairman Sulaiman Saleem Alharbi of SAPAC, one of Saudi Arabia’s largest contractors.
Presentation for the Saudi Ministry of Housing involved the project’s master plan, architectural design and business plan.
Following the presentation of the master plan, participants had in-depth discussions on how to improve efficiency of the large-scale new city development project.
“The business plan will be confirmed as soon as possible, and a construction contract is expected to be done by supplementing new things, including the application of smart technologies raised during the session, and the construction contract,” a Daewoo E&C official said. The building of the new city will serve as an opportunity to expand business in the Middle Eastern and North African regions suffering from similar housing shortage problems, he added.
A ceremony to sign the initial MOU took place in Seoul in March 2016 with Saudi Minister of Housing Majed al-Hogail, Korean Minister of Land, Infrastructure, and Transportation Kang Ho-in, Daewoo Construction President Park Young-shik, and Hanwha Construction president Choi Gwang-ho. Commissioned by the Saudi Ministry of Housing and funded by the Saudi government, the project is one of the key pledges King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia made when he ascended to the throne early 2015. Saudi Arabia has a population of more than 30 million, with an annual growth rate of 1.5 percent.
Riyadh has a population of about 6 million people. Influenced by a rapid rise in the number of migrants into the city, Riyadh has seen its home ownership ratio stand at as low as 60 percent. In January 2016, the Saudi government revealed a plan to supply 1.5 million homes for the next seven years at the cost of $400 billion in order to tackle housing shortage problems.
Daewoo E&C has successfully carried out a project to build a new city in Boughezoul, Algeria, 160 kms south of the capital of Algiers. Hanwha E&C is also implementing a massive $10-billion Bismayah new city project in Iraq.