As the Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) begins to tender technical packages for its phosphates city in the north of the kingdom, its reputation as a company that fast-tracks its projects continues to grow.

Maaden was formed in 1997 with a remit to manage Saudi Arabia’s mineral resources and initiate a diversification programme that will fully lengthen the value chain of these assets.

The phosphates city at Waad al-Shamal is set to become the phosphates hub in the kingdom and a major downstream phosphates cluster for attracting international companies is also planned for the area.

Waad al-Shamal is not Jubail with its intrinsic infrastructure already in place. The area is underdeveloped and requires huge investment. The phosphates city alone will cost more than $6bn.

Maaden has proved with its minerals city at Ras al-Khair that it is capable of forming strategic partnerships with multinational companies to ensure its assets are being utilised to the maximum benefit of the kingdom.

It operates a major fertiliser plant that is now fully commissioned and an aluminium smelter that has started to produce hot metal. Both of these projects have garnered off-the-record praise from contractors for the swift decision making process during the respective construction phases.

It has been less than 12 months since the US’ Jacobs Engineering and Bechtel were awarded the front-end engineering and design contracts for the phosphates city and this has now been followed by an engineering, procurement and construction package already going out to contractors.

Maaden knows what Riyadh expects and is delivering billions of dollars-worth of schemes in remote locations on time and on budget.