Kuwait and Saudi rebounds raise Gulf projects market

04 July 2011

Cancelled projects in Kuwait restart, while Saudi Arabia rallies after its steep fall the previous week

Contract awards

Biggest contract: $3.8bn

Value of contract awarded to US-based KBR by the US Army Corps of Engineers for construction work across the Middle East

$5.51bn: Value of major contract awards

5: Number of contracts awarded

For further information visit www.meed.com/contracts

Kuwait’s decision to revitalise two major projects, as well as Saudi Arabia rebounding after last week’s near 10 per cent drop, means the Gulf Index rose by 1.2 per cent to $2.53 trillion this week.

A large-scale downstream hydrocarbons projects worth about $15bn has been approved by the Supreme Petroleum Council in Kuwait. The New Refinery Project (NRP) at Al-Zour, which has twice been cancelled, will now go ahead. 

The NRP will have a capacity of about 530,000 barrels a day of oil and will be one of the largest refineries ever built in one phase. The announcement pushed Kuwait’s project index up to $167bn, a week-on-week rise of 8.4 per cent.

Saudi Arabia also bounced back from last week’s almost 10 per cent drop with the announcement of several small projects. The scheme caused the value of the kingdom’s project market to rise by 3.7 per cent.

This was not enough to move the UAE from its number one position on the index, despite it falling by 0.8 per cent. The kingdom remains about $20bn behind the UAE with $614bn-worth of projects compared with $634bn. The drop was caused by only four projects being announced in the UAE, as well as 14 projects being completed and nine stalling.

Project updates 
 Project NameProject Status
KuwaitNew Refinery Project: Package 1 (Process Plant)EPC Bid
Saudi ArabiaYanbu Power Plant IICancelled
Saudi ArabiaRas al-Zour Fertiliser Complex – Phosphoric Acid PlantComplete
UAELyon-Dubai CityOn Hold
IraqIraq Housing Project: Phase IEPC Bid
For further information visit www.meed.com/meedprojects

The rest of the GCC’s projects markets also dipped. Oman had some good news, however, as it had a 6 per cent year-on-year increase over 2010.

Outside the GCC, Iran fell by 2.4 per cent, but Iraq continued to rise with its projects index increasing by 1.6 per cent. This equates to a year-on-year rise of 37 per cent and indicates there is a lot of project potential in the Gulf state, due to its rebuilding programme.

Upcoming tender deadlines
 ClientContractSubmission date
KuwaitHealth MinistryAl-Amiri hospital10 July
KuwaitKuwait Oil Company  Soil remediation17-Jul
Saudi ArabiaInterior MinistryMedical complexes7 August 
QatarPublic Works Authority (Ashghal)Lusail Expressway 8 August
UAEAbu Dhabi Airports CompanyMidfield Terminal11 September
For further information visit www.meed.com/tenders

Aside from Oman and Iraq, all other countries have slipped on the index compared with the same time in 2010.

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