Saudi Oger and Maaden plan to set up a joint venture company to carry out the phosphate project. However, negotiations over the mining contract have been delayed as the government considers proposals for an alternative railway that would connect Al-Jalamid with Riyadh. Phosphate and bauxite supplies would then be transported via the existing track to Dammam. The alternative route would have the advantage of connecting to a proposed east-west railway linking Riyadh with Jeddah (MEED 24:08:01).