Under the latest contract, Jacobs and SNC will begin immediately with preparing preliminary designs for the phosphate project, which covers the development of an 18-square-kilometre deposit at the Al-Jalamid resource area and a diammonium phosphate (DAP) fertiliser complex at Ras al-Zour, north of Jubail. Once preliminary designs have been completed, the project will go for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) tendering.

The Jacobs/SNC team will complete by late February a detailed economic feasibility study and marketing studies for the Al-Jalamid scheme.

Maaden, which will develop Al-Jalamid in partnership with Saudi Oger, plans to produce 11 million tonnes a year (t/y) of phosphate when production starts in 2008. The DAP plant will have capacity of up to 3 million t/y.

A government team made up of members of the Finance Ministry’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), the Transport Ministry and Maaden earlier this year appointed a group comprising Canada’s Canrail, Systraof France and Saudi Consolidated Engineering Services (Khatib & Alami)to carry out the $9.8 million contract to prepare detailed technical designs for the estimated $1,500 million minerals railway linking the Al-Jalamid and Al-Zabirah mining projects in the north to the Gulf coast (MEED 2:4:04).

SNC is also working on a separate engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract for the Al-Amar gold mine, 220 kilometres southwest of Riyadh.