AWCS told more than $30bn infrastructure investment needed in King Abdullah Economic City

The MEED Arabian World Construction summit (AWCS) was told this morning that long-term primary and secondary infrastructure investment in Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) will total at least SR125bn ($33bn).

The city, which is located between Jeddah and Yanbu on the kingdom’s west coast, aims to have an ultimate population of 2m people. The present population is 5,000 but this is expected to grow to 25,000 in two years as housing projects now under construction are completed, KAEC chief operating officer residential development Charles Biele told the AWCS.

KAEC is a listed Saudi Arabian company established in 2006 by a consortium of global real estate companies, including Emaar, Saudi investors and government bodies, and the city’s master developer – Emaar, The Economic City (EEC). Plans for the city call for investment of SR 187.6 billion ($5bn).

KAEC chief operating officer residential development Charles Biele told the AWCS that KAEC’s original masterplan has been revised.

“A more realistic time line is a major component of the masterplan,” Biel said. “We have broken the schedule into four, five-year phases. The infrastructure is quite a challenge for us.”

“We built and owned the water treatment and sewage treatment plant,” Biele said. “We are doing our power as captive, but we are linking to the SEC grid. Primary and secondary infratructure including social infrastructure will call for investment of more than SR125bn ($33bn).”

The KAEC masterplan includes a container port and an industrial zone as well as residential and commercial developments.

The three-day AWCS 2014 is being held at the Sofitel Hotel on Palm Jumeirah.

Sponsors and supporters of the MEED AWCS 2014:

  • HSBC and CPC are strategic event partners.
  • Hyder and Six Construct are gold partners.
  • Agis, Mashreq and Projacs are silver sponsors
  • Deloitte is knowledge partner.
  • EC Harris Built Asset Consultancy is lunch sponsor on day one.
  • Bentley is CEO Forum sponsor.
  • Aksa, Drake & Scull, Hill International and Zurich are Conference Sponsors.