The contract was signed on 9 December.

Brandt’s scope of work includes the design, engineering, procurement, installation supervision and commissioning of the factory.

Construction will start in early 2008 and operations are expected to start in 2009.

The plant will have an initial capacity of 170,000 tonnes a year of seamless pipes for use in oil and gas wells.

It will supply state-owned oil and gas company Saudi Aramco and other oil and gas companies in the region.

The project will also contribute to the kingdom’s Saudisation plans, creating 250 jobs for Saudi nationals.