Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) has awarded two contracts to US engineering consultancies Fluor Corporation and Bechtel for its planned $6bn phosphates mining city in Saudi Arabia.

Bechtel is responsible for developing the city’s masterplan and will oversee the engineering and construction of the 440-square-kilometre city and industrial complex, located near Turayf in the north of the kingdom, according to a 3 December statement.

The company will also perform the front-end engineering and design (feed). The city will include commercial, housing and educational facilities, along with the mining complex, which will house seven phosphate processing plants. The feed for the seven plants is being performed by the US’ Jacobs Engineering.

Fluor will provide project management consultancy services for the Umm al-Wual greenfield phosphate project, an open pit mine and processing facilities. Under its contract, estimated to be worth $200m, the US firm will supervise and manage the feasibility study including the development of basic design packages. It will also manage the tendering of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) packages and eventual the supervision of EPC contractors.

When complete, the Umm al-Wual project will produce 100,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of food grade purified phosphoric acid, 90,000 t/y of industrial grade sodium tripoly phosphate, 250,000 t/y of animal feed grade dicalum phosphate/monocalcium phosphate and 280,000 t/y of phosphate and compound fertilisers.

Construction is set to begin in 2013. The phosphates city, which will be constructed at Waad al-Shamal in the north of the kingdom, is being planned so Maaden can fully utilise the phosphates from its Al-Khabra mine.