Neom awards multibillion-dollar dam deal

15 January 2024
The three dams at Trojena will be used to create the central lake and could altogether cost around $5bn


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Neom has selected Italian contractor WeBuild for an estimated SR20bn ($5bn) contract to build the dams that will create the artificial lake at the heart of the Trojena mountain resort that is due to host the Asian Winter Games in 2029.

The main dam will have a height of 145 metres and will be 475 metres long at its crest. It will be built using 2.7 million cubic metres of roller compact concrete (RCC).

Some 650,000 cubic metres of RCC will be used to build a dam within the planned lake to create an island below the water level. This kidney-shaped dam will have a height of 38 metres and will be 700 metres long. It will be connected to the nearby Lake Village by an underwater tunnel. The landscaping and other attractions within the dam are known as the Enchanted Forest.

The third dam will have a height of 65 metres and will be 490 metres long at its crest. It will be constructed using 4.15 million cubic metres of rockfill. The works also include the lakebed line and the foundations for the Bow Building, a concrete structure at the end of the lake that will overhang the valley below and incorporate a hotel.

This is the second major contract awarded for the development at Trojena. 

In October, Neom awarded a SR4.5bn ($1.2bn) infrastructure development contract at Trojena to a joint venture of the local Al-Ayuni Investment & Contracting and Turkish Limak Holding.

The contract scope covers the construction of a tunnel and freight depot, and excavation works at Trojena, a mountain destination 50 kilometres from Saudi Arabia's Gulf of Aqaba coast.

In November, MEED exclusively reported that Neom completed the technical evaluation of the proposals for the Trojena dams. The client and the selected contractors entered into commercial negotiations for the project.

Earlier last year, Neom engaged three contractors on an early contractor involvement (ECI) basis. They include a consortium of Saudi Arabia-based Al-Ayuni with Turkiye-headquartered Limak, Beijing-based PowerChina and Italy’s WeBuild.

The ECI process requires selected contractors to submit methodologies for the project and a design proposal. After evaluating the proposals, Neom will select one contractor for the 26-month contract.

In April last year, Neom selected local contractor Al-Ayuni Investment & Contracting for earthworks and the construction of access roads for the Trojena dams scheme.

Trojena Dams

Launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Trojena is set to be a year-round tourist destination. It will include a ski village, family and wellness resorts, retail food and beverage facilities, and sports amenities such as watersports and mountain biking. An interactive nature reserve is also planned. The project is due to be completed by 2026.

The project engineer is Singapore’s Surbana Jurong. The executive programme manager is the US’ Aecom. US-based Bechtel was awarded the contract to provide project management consultancy services for the Trojena development at the end of 2022.

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