Canada’s SNC-Lavalin has been awarded an estimated $135m contract to operate and maintain the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre (Kapsarc) in Riyadh.

The firm will provide integrated facility and community management services across the 530,000 square metre Kapsarc development, which is located 8 kilometres south of King Khalid International airport. The firm’s contract is for a period of 10 years.

In February last year, Saudi Aramco, the client for the project, awarded UAE-based Drake & Scull International a SR2bn ($533m) contract to build the commercial buildings for the Kapsarc scheme. The work will involve the construction of the main buildings that includes basic retail facilities and a research centre, library and conference hall designed by London-based Zaha Hadid Architects.

Kapsarc’s main building will be a crystalline structure composed of modular six-sided cells with connections between them. The development will also contain indoor and outdoor gardens, shaded outdoor areas and underground tunnels. The conference building will include a large multipurpose hall and various smaller halls and meeting rooms.

In May 2010, Saudi Aramco awarded South Korea’s SK Engineering & Construction the estimated SR1.9bn contract to build the residential buildings at Kapsarc. The project will involve the construction of 188 villas, two apartment blocks, a clubhouse and associated infrastructure.

Aramco launched the Kapsarc project in March 2009 as part of a $60bn investment programme, which includes the development of offshore and onshore oil production facilities.