Aramco inaugurates $1.6bn energy and industrial park
Spark will create 100,000 direct and indirect jobs when complete
Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest crude producing company, inaugurated an industrial park on Monday in Saudi Arabia's oil-rich eastern province that will cost $1.6 billion in its first phase, as the kingdom seeks to create more jobs.
The King Salman Energy Park, or Spark, will stretch over a 50 square kilometre area, contribute more than $6bn to the kingdom’s gross domestic product and generate 100,000 direct and indirect jobs, Aramco said in a statement. The first phase is set for completion by 2021.
“Spark is one of the country’s most ambitious projects, affirming the Kingdom’s commitment to Vision 2030 by creating thousands of high-skilled jobs, serving as an economic catalyst and advancing Saudi Arabia’s strong position in the global energy sector,” said Saudi energy minister Khalid Al Falih. “The energy park’s unique value proposition makes it an ideal destination for companies looking to invest in the thriving Saudi Arabian energy services market.”
Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, is launching industrial parks and creating more private sector companies under Vision 2030, a roadmap to wean the kingdom off energy income.
Spark has already attracted interest from major international investors including oil services firms Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, a unit of GE, and Halliburton.
Spark, located between Dammam and Al Hasa, will benefit from Aramco’s In-Kingdom Total Value Add programme, an initiative launched in December 2015. The programme requires all of the company’s suppliers to attain 70 per cent local production and export 30 per cent of locally manufactured energy goods and services output by 2021.
“The King Salman Energy Park will start a new era of growth for one of the Kingdom’s thriving sectors,” said Amin Nasser, the chief executive of Aramco. “It will serve as a central gateway to the region’s economies, with Saudi Aramco continuing to be at the heart of the global oil and gas industry.”
Updated: December 11, 2018 12:36 PM