At least eleven local construction companies are planning to merge to form one of the kingdom’s largest contractors.

Known as Saudi Consolidated Contracting Company the new firm is expected to be worth about SR4bn ($1.1bn). It plans to finalise the number of firms taking part in the merger by July 2010, before operating as one company three years later in 2013.

The UK’s Ernst & Young is advising on the merger process.

The kingdom’s construction market is currently dominated by the Saudi Binladin Group and Saudi Oger. Contractors working in Saudi Arabia expect the new company to challenge the dominance of these two companies in the future.