The Communications Ministry is pressing forward with its road-building programme, with a new round of awards worth a total of SR 676 million ($180 million) for the construction of a 607-kilometre highway from Riyadh to the southern region of Asir. Following a signing ceremony with local contractors on 15 September, Communications Minister Nasser al-Saloum reiterated the government's commitment to expanding the kingdom's road network using private sector investment.
Munawah Trading & Contracting Company, Ajzala Establishment, Saeed Hadi Faleh al-Dossary Establishment, Abdullah bin Jarallah Establishment, Oyuni Establishmentand Mohammed al-Martan Company, all local, will be responsible for the construction of a two-lane highway linking Riyadh, Al-Kharj, Houta, Khamaseen and Khamis Mushayt, and for the rehabilitation of the Houta-Laila road. The latest ministry announcement comes a month after the award of contracts worth SR 710 million ($189 million) for the construction of two highways in the east of the kingdom (MEED 16:8:02).
Under a five-year road-building programme, most new highways will be constructed on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis, Al-Saloum said. Revenue collected from toll booths will be used for road maintenance, and the ministry has recommended a toll of five halalas (SR 0.05 - $0.013) a kilometre to be levied on drivers using the new roads.
The government has allocated SR 20,000 million ($5,300 million) for the construction of 3,950 kilometres of new road in the next five years, with the emphasis on high-speed links between major cities and the remote provinces of Saudi Arabia. The ministry is working on a prefeasibility study for the largest single project in the programme, a SR 3,000 million ($800 million) motorway from Qassim to Rabigh (MEED 28:6:02).
A MEED Subscription...
Subscribe or upgrade your current MEED.com package to support your strategic planning with the MENA region’s best source of business information. Proceed to our online shop below to find out more about the features in each package.