Construction company named Bechtel is shifting its Middle East headquarters to Riyadh, said Brendran Bechtel, company’s president.
The company, which was for a long time-based in the kingdom, is presently part of a consortium building two lines of the Riyadh Metro and is working on the futuristic Neom project. It also runs Saudi Arabia’s National Programme Management Organisation, known as Mashroat.
Mr. Bechtel said, “We’re incredibly proud to be a partner on the Neom effort. In conjunction with that, and because of the opportunity that we see in the kingdom, I’m excited to announce now that we’re moving Bechtel’s regional headquarters to Riyadh“.
This is building on our 75-plus years of partnership in the kingdom and we’re really excited about the opportunity for infrastructure investment, and innovative infrastructure investment, for many years to come.
Bechtel stands among the biggest contractors in the US by Engineering News-Record. The family-owned company earned $21.8 billion of revenue in 2019, the most current year for which figures are accessible, and had a project backlog of $38.3bn. It recently has a regional engineering center of excellence in Dubai.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman the previous day declared plans for major funding into Riyadh in a bid to make it one of the best city economies in the world. The plan of action contains twice the size of its economy and its population within 10 years – from 7.5 million currently to the north of 15 million.
The kingdom’s capital actively generates 50 percent of its non-oil economy. The price of creating jobs and developing infrastructure is almost 30 percent less costly there than in other parts of the kingdom, the Crown Prince said.
The action plan includes the creation of at least five new Special Economic Zones, out of 20 planned for the kingdom, and a park three times the size of New York’s Central Park.
“For those who say, how can you grow and double the size of the economy and the population in just 10 years, Riyadh’s done it 60 times over the past six decades,” Fahd Al-Rasheed, president of the Royal Commission for Riyadh City, informed the summit. “Riyadh is used to this hyper-growth and has been built for it.“
Saudi Arabia “needs to catch up” regarding the topics like infrastructure development, Mohamed Alabbar, managing director of Emaar Properties, told the event.
He provided that the private sector will have “a critical role” to help in infrastructure development provided the Covid-19 pandemic and the pressure on government budgets.
“I really think the private sector will play such a critical role. Not only because they have the ability to fund, but because they are able to be efficient,” Mr. Alabbar said.