Value: $7.2bn

Client

Saudi Arabian Mining Company

Tel: (+966) 11 874 8000

Project management Consultancy

Bechtel

Tel: (+966) 11 277 1884

Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) plans to develop a $7bn phosphates city at Waad al-Shamal in the far north of the kingdom. The scheme is situated close to Turayf, near the border with Jordan, a location that was chosen due to its proximity to the Al-Khabra phosphate mine. The city is at least twice as large as any other phosphates project currently under construction anywhere in the world.

Maaden hopes to start phosphate processing at Waad al-Shamal in late 2016. Its output is expected to total 16 million tonnes a year (t/y), including 3 million t/y of phosphate fertilisers and 440,000 t/y of downstream products that will be used in food, detergent and animal feed production.

A phosphates mine at the nearby Al-Khabra is estimated to have 236 million tonnes of deposits. Its phosphate is low in heavy metal content and therefore suitable for industrial use, fertiliser and food production as well as animal feed.

Key dates
Jul 13 First EPC package awarded to Daelim 
Mar 13 Maaden signs partnership deal with Mosaic and Sabic  
Jan 13 Maaden begins search for $7bn finance. First EPC tenders released  
May 12 Front-end engineering and design awarded to Jacobs and Bechtel
Mar 12 Feasibility study completed
EPC=Engineering, procurement and construction. Source: MEED

The infrastructure will include roads and utilities. A rail line will also be opened to connect the city to the North-South railway in order to transport the output to Ras al-Khair in the Eastern Province, where Maaden has several world-scale minerals operations.

As of August 2013, the project was at the main contract tender phase, with construction work expected to start by the end of the year. South Korea’s Daelim Industrial has already been awarded the ammonia plant package, with the remainder expected to be awarded by the fourth quarter of 2013.

The partners for the scheme are Maaden, which retains a 65 per cent stake, the US’ Mosaic, with 25 per cent, and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, with the remaining 15 per cent.