A joint venture of the local Saudi Binladin Group (SBG) and Malaysia's MMC Corporation has been awarded a licence to develop a $30,000 new economic city at Jizan on the Red Sea coast - the kingdom's fourth economic city. The two companies will establish a 50:50 joint venture to develop and manage Jizan Economic City (JEC) over 30 years.
JEC will cover an area of 117 square kilometres about 725 kilometres south of Jeddah. Two thirds of the project will comprise an industrial zone with a port, an aluminium smelter, steel and copper processing plants, an oil refinery and fish processing and agricultural factories. It will also include a 4,000-MW power and desalination plant.The city's remaining portion will centre on construction of a central business district, residential areas, a marina and municipal buildings. Officials at MMC say about $17,000 million will be invested within the industrial zone, while $13,000 million will go into developing infrastructure and buildings. 'We still have to get investors on board,' says MMC corporate services general manager Azlan Shahrim. 'Once we get anchor investors, we can begin the infrastructure work, which we expect early next year.'The masterplan and financing have yet to be completed. 'We expect to be able to divulge further information within three weeks,' says SBG business development director Ahmed Anees (MEED 6:10:06).