The design, supply and installation contract of a 380 kV overhead transmission line at Neom City has been awarded. The contract whose value is US$ 138M was awarded to the transmission and distribution business of KEC International.
Neom City Project Overview
Neom City Project is a planned cross-border city in northwestern Saudi Arabia, Tabuk Province. It is aimed to have smart city technologies and also act as a tourist destination. The area is in the northern part of the Red Sea, south of Jordan and Israel, and east of Egypt across the Strait of Tiran.
It will cover an estimated area of 26,500 km2 extending 460 km on the coast of the Red Sea. Key parts of the Neom project design were acquired from the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore.
Saudi Arabia plans to complete the first phase of the Neom City Project by 2025. The scheme is estimated to cost $500 billion. On January 29, 2019, Saudi Arabia revealed that it had formed a closed joint-stock company called Neom with $500 billion. The company’s aim, wholly acquired by the Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund, was to develop the economic zone of Neom.
The development is aimed to be powered by renewable energies. The project emerged from the country’s Vision 2030, a plan that aims to reduce Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil, stretch its economy and grow public service sectors. The scheme calls for robots to perform duties such as logistics, security, caregiving, and home delivery.
Furthermore, it aims for the city to be powered solely by solar and wind power. Due to the city’s design construction starting from scratch, more infrastructure innovations and mobility have been suggested. Planning and construction will be done with $500 billion from the country’s Public Investment Fund and international investors.
Neom City Project Timeline.
In October, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman revealed the city at the Future Investment Initiative conference held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
He added it will operate on its own, away from the “existing governmental framework” with its own labour and tax laws and also an “autonomous judicial system.”
Egypt stated that it is contributing some land to the Neom scheme.
The world’s largest green hydrogen facility is set to be constructed in the northwest corner of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The US $5bn plant will supply 650 tons per day of carbon-free hydrogen for transportation globally and spare the world 3 million tons of carbon dioxide every year.
The joint venture project between Air Products Chemicals, ACWA Power, and NEOM is the first partnership for NEOM with leading international and national partners in the renewable energy field and it will be a cornerstone for its strategy to become a major player in the global hydrogen market.
It is based on proven, world-class technology and will include the innovative integration of over 4GW of renewable power from solar, wind, and storage; production of 650 tons per day of hydrogen by electrolysis using thyssenkrupp technology; production of nitrogen by air separation using Air Products technology; and production of 1.2 million tons per year of green ammonia using Haldor Topsoe technology. The project is scheduled to be operational in 2025.
Air Products will be the exclusive off-taker of the green ammonia and intends to transport it around the world to be dissociated to produce green hydrogen for the transportation market.
According to Seifi Ghasemi, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer for Air Products, harnessing the unique profile of NEOM’s sun and wind to convert water to hydrogen, this project will yield a totally clean source of energy on a massive scale and will save the world over 3 million tons of Carbon dioxide emissions annually and eliminate smog-forming emissions and other pollutants from the equivalent of over 700,000 cars.
“We are therefore honoured and proud to partner with ACWA Power and NEOM and use proven technologies to make the world’s dream of 100 per cent green energy a reality,” he added.
AECOM appointed to design utility infrastructure at US $500bn NEOM Bay project in KSA
AECOM has been awarded a contract to design transport and utility infrastructure at the US $500bn NEOM Bay mega-project in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In addition to design services, AECOM’s scope of work also includes environmental and geotechnical support.
According to AECOM Brett Smythe, chief projects officer of NEOM, AECOM will help Neom to create the “primary and base infrastructure” required to support the ambitious project. “NEOM’s next-generation cognitive cities will support its cutting-edge urban environments, improving the lives of residents and businesses far beyond the capabilities of today’s smart cities; it will be a beacon for future living,” he said.
NEOM Bay mega-project
Located in the northwestern part of Saudi Arabia, at the intersection with Jordan and Egypt, Neom is the flagship project of Saudi Arabia’s post-oil diversification plan known as Vision 2030 which seeks to reduce its reliance on hydrocarbons. It is being overseen by the Public Investment Fund.
NEOM Bay will be a special economic zone and diverse society offering world-class education, healthcare, and culture for a new way of living. Once complete, NEOM Bay Phase 1 will span a 45-square-kilometre area and be comprised of several thousand residential units, and leisure, retail, commercial, public, and entertainment facilities with supporting infrastructure and utilities.
The crown prince of Saudi Arabia has announced plans to construct a zero-carbon city at NEOM, the first major construction project for the US$ 500bn flagship business zone aimed at diversifying the economy of the world’s largest oil exporter.
Prince Mohammed bin Salman stated that the zero-carbon city known as “The Line” will extend over 170 km and would be able to house a million residents in “carbon-positive urban developments powered by 100% clean energy”. He then went on to report that the project took 3 years in preparation and its infrastructure would cost $100 billion to $200 billion to bring to reality.
He stated that “the backbone of investment in ‘The Line’ will come from the $500 billion support to NEOM by the Saudi government, PIF and local and global investors over 10 years,” The Saudi Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), is the main investor in NEOM, a 26,500-square-km high-tech development on the Red Sea with several zones, including an industrial and logistics areas, that is expected to complete construction in 2025.
An official Saudi report stated that construction would start in the first quarter of 2021 and that the city was expected to contribute US$48 billion to the kingdom’s gross domestic product and create 380,000 jobs. “Throughout history, cities were built to protect their citizens. After the Industrial Revolution, cities prioritized machines, cars, and factories over people. In cities that are viewed as the world’s most advanced, people spend years of their lives commuting.
By 2050, commute durations will double. By 2050, one billion people will have to relocate due to rising CO2 emissions and sea levels. 90% of people breathe polluted air. Why should we sacrifice nature for the sake of development? Why should seven million people die every year because of pollution? Why should we lose one million people every year due to traffic accidents? And why should we accept wasting years of our lives commuting.” stated the Crown Prince.
In November, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the launch of NEOM’s industrial city known as the OXAGON which is set to be the largest floating industrial complex in the entire world.
OXAGON will be located on the Red Sea close to the Suez Canal, and south of THE LINE, and it will include the current port of Duba. It will establish the world’s first fully integrated port and supply chain ecosystem for NEOM City. The port, logistics, and rail delivery facility will be unified, providing world-class productivity levels with net-zero carbon emissions, and setting global benchmarks in the adoption of technology and environmental sustainability.
NEOM and Volocopter, the pioneer of urban air mobility, established a joint venture (JV) company to design, implement, and operate the world’s first bespoke public eVTOL (electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing) mobility system in the futuristic city.
Under the agreement, a total of 15 Volocopter aircraft are expected to commence initial flight operations within the next 2-3 years. Ten out of the 15 will serve passengers while the remaining five will transport goods.
Arqit Quantum Inc. (“Arqit”) and NEOM Tech and Digital Company (via its affiliate, NEOM Company) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to build a ‘Cognitive City’ quantum security system capable of defending cognitive cities against cyber-attacks from the most advanced computers to emerge in coming years.
The system will be built and tested at NEOM city during the first half of 2022, after which it could be exported to other cognitive cities around the world, offering billions of users a highly secure means to authenticate, identify and secure all forms of devices while fully guaranteeing their privacy.
This same month and year, Thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers and Air Products signed a contract for the establishment of a 2GW-plus electrolysis plant at the planned US$ 5bn green hydrogen production facility, the largest of its kind in the world, in the proposed OXAGON complex.
Under the contract, Thyssenkrupp will engineer, procure and fabricate the plant based on its 20MW alkaline water electrolysis module, in what is set to be the world’s first giga-scale green H2 electrolyzer. Project partners Neom, developer ACWA Power and Air Products (as Neom Green Hydrogen Company) will operate the 2GW facility upon commissioning after a scheduled production starts in 2026.
Saudia Arabia to start the actual construction of a US$ 5bn Green Hydrogen Plant in Neom City
The Government of Saudia Arabia has announced plans to start the actual construction of a US$ 5bn Green Hydrogen Plant in Neom City as soon as this month, following the completion of the flattening of the construction site.
This was particularly announced by Peter Terium, the head of energy and water for the project’s host region which was chosen due to the abundance of wind, empty kand, and sunlight.
Terium said that overall, the plans to start selling and exporting carbon-free hydrogen in about 4 years (by 2026) are on schedule.
Implementation of the project
The construction of the Green Hydrogen Plant in Neom City is led by a consortium that includes, ACWA Power International and Air Products. The companies will make use of 120 Thyssenkrupp AG electrolyzers.
Each of these electrolyzers will be 40 meters long and will be used to split hydrogen from water. When processed, the fuel will be shipped from the plant since it is easier to transport Ammonia than hydrogen in its gaseous state.
Upon completion, the Green Hydrogen Plant in Neom City will immensely contribute to Saudi Arabia’s ambition to become the biggest exporter of hydrogen which is considered to be a pivotal transition to a form of energy that is cleaner. It is less polluting to the environment than oil because the fuel only produces water vapour when burned, making it a better alternative to coal and natural gas.
Technology for producing it on a mass or rather a commercial scale is still not available, however, according to BloombergNEF, the market could potentially be worth US$ 700bn annually by 2050.
Plans for Trojena Mega Tourism Project revealed
Chairman of the NEOM Company Board and Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman has revealed the Trojena Mega Tourism Project that will deliver a tourist destination consisting of a series of facilities including but not limited to wellness resorts, a broad spectrum of retail stores as well as restaurants, a ski village, and an ultra-luxury family resort, all spread across six districts namely; Discover, Valley, Relax, Gateway, Explore, and Fun.
In addition to the world-class facilities, the project which is scheduled to be completed by 2026, will also offer watersports, ski sloping, mountain biking, an interactive nature reserve, music, art, sports, and cultural festivals.
Implementation of the Trojena Mega Tourism Project to conform to NEOM’s commitment to minimizing disruption to the local ecology
According to the Crown Prince, all construction activities of the Trojena Mega Tourism Project, which is located in the centre of NEOM approximately 50 kilometres from the Gulf of Aqaba coast, will adhere to NEOM’s commitment to minimizing disruption to the local ecology while ensuring long-term sustainability.
Mohammed bin Salman expressed that the Trojena Mega Tourism Project will redefine mountain tourism for the world through the creation of a place that is based on the principles of ecotourism adding that the project is also aligned with the global effort to protect the environment.
Expectations for the project
The project is expected to attract well over 7,000 permanent residents and its adjacent residential areas by 2030. It is also expected to attract over 700,000 visitors, add close to US$ 800M to Saudi Arabia’s GDP by the year 2030, and create more than 10,000 jobs.
The Chairman of the NEOM Company Board explained that the Trojena Mega Tourism Project will guarantee that mountain tourism will be another stream of revenue in supporting Saudi Arabia’s economic diversification, while at the same time, still preserving the country’s natural resources for future generations to come.
Enowa to establish Saudi Arabia’s first Hydrogen and Innovation Centre
Neom Energy’s water and hydrogen subsidiary Enowa has revealed plans to establish what has been coined as Saudi Arabia’s first Hydrogen and Innovation Centre (HIDC). The facility is also said to be one of the first tenants of the Neom innovation and manufacturing city, Oxagon.
The project is focused on accelerating business development across the spectrum of hydrogen as well as the production, utilization, and transport of green fuel. The Hydrogen and Innovation Centre also aims to increase lar to market solutions.
Pointing reference to a statement made by NEOM, the Hydrogen and Innovation Centre will act as a testing ground for new(er) technologies that are present in the clean energy industry. It will also serve as a collaborative learning community for research institutions that are focused on the circular carbon economy (CCE) as well as hydrogen.
Through the collaborations, the centre will look for ways in which it can adapt and produce clean, synthetic, and decarbonized fuels in partnership with Saudi Aramco. This new facility is said to have the potential to fast-track Saudi Arabia’s goal of becoming a global hub of clean energy and innovation.
The Hydrogen and Innovation Centre is planned to open by next year. The facility will gather all operational data from its first 20 megawatts electrolyzer from Thyssenkrupp Nucera. The electrolyzer is also the very same that will be used in what is the world’s largest green hydrogen and ammonia plant that is being by Neom Green Hydrogen Company (NGHC).
The facility will also contribute to Enowa’s plans with Air Products Qudra in testing advanced hydrogen fuel cell-based mobility and logistics solutions. CEO of Enowa, Peter Terium, expressed his pride in Neom becoming one of the global accelerators for the hydrogen economy, He also added that their ambition was to promote the economic implementation of future clean energy supplies as well as drive and encourage innovation.
World’s Largest Drill and Blast Tunneling Contracts Awarded at NEOM City
Drill and blast tunnelling works contracts for one of the largest transportation and utility infrastructure projects in the world have been awarded by NEOM City developers to two joint venture groups.
The contracts for the project which are separated by lower and upper geographies were awarded to FCC Construction/China State Construction Engineering Corporation/Shibh Al-Jazira Contracting Company Joint Venture (FCC/CSCEC/SAJCO JV), and Samsung C&T Corporation/Hyundai Engineering and Construction Co. Ltd/Saudi Archirodon Company Joint Venture (SHAJV).
Scope of the project
Considered a significant and essential element in ensuring that the Saudi megaproject continues to meet its set development schedule, the project mainly entails drilling and blast tunnelling works for two 28-kilometre-long tunnels. The excavated rock will reportedly be processed for subsequent reuse within the permanent concrete lining of the tunnels and other projects within the NEOM City to ensure minimal impact on natural landscapes.
The works will provide separate tunnels for high-speed and freight rail services which would contribute to ensuring that the movement of goods and people is safe, easier, and faster.
The CEO of NEOM, Nadhini Al-Nasr, stated that the project’s sheer scope and scale of the tunnelling work(s) that is to be undertaken is further proof of the complexity and ambition of the project in general. He further expressed that the company aims to maintain its progress as it moves toward achieving its vision for a new future which has been established by the Crown Prince and Chairman of the NEOM board of directors, Mohammed bin Salman.
Design plans revealed for the ‘Mirror Line’ a 105-mile-long building within Neom City
Design plans have been revealed for the proper “Mirror Line” or simply “The Line” which is a 105-mile-long building within the desert city dubbed Neom in Saudi Arabia. According to the designs, the development will consist of two 1,600 feet tall buildings. The buildings will extend horizontally, in parallel, for 75 miles from the Gulf of Aqaba in the country’s west, through a mountain range, into the desert “aerotropolis”.
Moreover, the buildings will be coated in a silver shine and powered by renewable energy. They will also feature miles of greenery, homes, and farms to feed the more than five million residents expected to fill it out. Reportedly, people living here will have to subscribe to the building for three meals a day.
In addition, the two Mirror Line buildings will be connected via walkways, and a high-speed train will run underneath them. These amenities will enable the five million people to travel end-to-end within 20 minutes. Furthermore, according to Prince MBS, the development will have a sports stadium 300m above the ground.
Additionally, there will be a marina where residents will moor their yachts under an arch between the two skyscrapers. The Mirror Line will reportedly take will take 50 years to build.
Foundation works for “The Line” in Neom City, Commences
The foundation works for the Line in Neom City have officially commenced. This was announced by the project’s contractor, Trevi Arabian Soil Contractors. The latter is a subsidiary of the subsoil engineering specialist, Trevi Group.
According to the company, the foundation works began right after the completion of test piles. The test piles were used to identify the best execution technology that would be required to carry out the project. The diameter of the piles ranges from about 1.5 meters to 2.5 meters.
Reportedly, there are up to 70 meters of excavation works from the work surface. As a result, the firm plans to deploy high-end Soilmec equipment for the foundation works. Currently, the project boasts a total workforce of approximately 150 people. However, the numbers will see an increase to 250 once the construction site reaches its full capacity.
Moreover, Trevi revealed that the equipment currently present at the site are the Soilmec SR-100 and the SR-90. Meanwhile, plans to employ the SR-135 and the SR-115/Sr-125 are underway.
This phase of the project will feature two distinct levels of development. The first will be the underground for high-speed rail and infrastructure. The second level on the other hand will feature a green area for residents as well as pedestrian pathways.
Design contract awarded for Saudi NEOM Construction Village
A design contract has been awarded for five Saudi NEOM Construction Villages (NCV). The contract was awarded to Egypt’s Engineering Consultants Group (ECG).
As per the contract, ECG will handle data collection, design review, as well as master planning, and works for the project. In addition, the company will oversee the design report, the concept design, the detailed design, and design development.
A deeper look into the NEOM Construction Villages Project
The villages span a total area of 1,647,000 meters squared. Four out of the five villages cover an area of 798,000. The fifth site on the other hand will cover a total area of 849,000 meters squared.
All villages feature combined facilities, utility buildings as well and residential facilities. The residential facilities for each village within the project, include SAUDI NEOM camp type A suite (G), NEOM camp type B (G+1), and contractors’ type A (G).
Meanwhile, the combined facilities that are located on the ground floor for each of the villages include office buildings, a multi-purpose hall, a maintenance warehouse, and registration alongside FM offices.
Furthermore, the facilities will include a truck yard, laundry, and clinic, as well as secure facilities. Additionally, the villages will feature separate amenities for Saudi NEOM staff and FM staff alongside contractors’ staff.
Expectations for the project
The NEOM Construction Villages Project is a result of a partnership signed in September 2019. The agreement was signed between SATCO and Al-Tamimi to construct, finance as well as, and operation facilitation.
As per the agreement, Al-Tamimi Group will develop two residential areas within the village. These areas will have the capacity to house 10,000 residents each. Alongside SATCO, the two developers will operate the village for a total of 10 years.
A new delivery partner announced for The Line at NEOM City
A new delivery partner, Parsons Corporation, has been appointed for the Line at NEOM City. The digitally enabled solutions provider places focus on defence, security, and infrastructure. Additionally, the US consultancy boasts an established and trusted presence in the Middle East for over 60 years.
Parson’s framework agreement for the project includes consultancy services. Moreover, the firm will exercise construction management services for the design, procurement, construction, and testing. Additionally, Parson will also cater to the commissioning of the project, as well as management of its critical interfaces with adjacent NEOM logistics and projects.
While commenting on the project, the President at Parsons said that the project aims to serve as contribute to a cleaner, safer, and more connected world. Pierre Santoni further said that the project will not just reshape the region but also, re-imagine the future of sustainable urban living on a global scale.
PMC contract awarded for NEOM International Airport project
A multi-year PMC contract for the NEOM International Airport Project has been awarded to AECOM. As per the contract, the global infrastructure consulting firm will provide project management consultancy (PMC) services. This will involve testing, commissioning, as well as operational readiness and transition (ORAT) for the airport.
The NEOM International Airport project site is set within the northwestern region of Saudi Arabia. Currently, the site boasts well over 1500 full-time employees, consisting of about 65 nationalities, working on the project. The project’s scope of work includes upgrading existing structure airfield lighting as well as a maintenance building. Alongside, drainage infrastructure, a security and command centre in addition to security systems for the Airfield and Terminal.
As it stands, development works on the giga-project are in the building phase. The first destination, Sindalah, is due to open its doors in 2024.
Remarks on the project
While commenting on the project, AECOM’s President said the project strives to transform travel between NEOM and the world. Lara Poloni further added that the project management experts will help in ensuring its successful and timely, delivery.
Also Read: Saudi Arabia: Neom City Project Updates
The CEO of NEOM Airports revealed that the implementation of next-gen features and technologies will be across all NEOM airports. John Seldem also noted that the contract is a testament to their leadership position in the region. In addition to their continuous commitment to not just the project but the goals of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.
NEOM International Airport project
Back in January 2019, the airport received 130 Saudi passengers, who were employees in NEOM. Thereafter, the airport got its first flight, a Saudi aircraft from Riyadh, in June 2019 The International Air Transport Association (IATA) classified the airport as a commercial hub.
Quite impressively, it serves as a logistic location as it links three countries, Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. Moreover, it features as the first airport in the region to make use of the 5G wireless network service.
Saudi Arabia’s Port of NEOM open for business
The planned smart city in Tabuk Province, NEOM through Oxagon, announced that the Port Of NEOM is now open for business. Formerly known as Duba Port, the primary northwest seaport was renamed to the Port of NEOM.
As a whole, it aims to become the first-ever, advanced terminal by 2025. For its first phase of development., it boasts an investment of over $1.99 billion, well about SAR 7.5 billion.
While commenting on the project, the CEO of NEOM said that it will serve as a catalyst for broader economic growth, especially in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, Nadhmi Al Nasr added that it will potentially contribute to the maritime trade ambitions of the region. In addition to economic diversification and commercial competitiveness.
Port of NEOM incorporates the use of 100% clean energy
Quite impressively, the project as well as the Saudi government, strive to operate at a net carbon zero level, making use of 100% renewable energy at source. Therefore, NEOM will be powered by 100% clean energy.
This will include the integrative use of wind, green hydrogen-based, and solar energy. According to a statement by NEOM, the seaport will potentially be the most sustainable next-generation port on a global scale. Furthermore, its location positions the port at the crossroads of global trading routes across the Red Sea.
Taking it a step further, the project signed a contract during the week to build ‘The Connector’, a high-speed 57-kilometre railway line. It will stretch along the Red Sea coast and connect NEOM’s port city of Oxagon with The Line.
WeBuild alongside joint-venture partner, Shibh Al Jazira Contracting Company signed a contract that is worth $1.5 billion (€1.4 billion). At an estimate, officials revealed that the railway line will create well over 4,000 direct and indirect job opportunities, especially for the Saudi labour market.
Assystem Selected to Conduct Assessment of NEOM’s 20GW Solar Projects
Assystem, an international project management services company, has been appointed by ENOWA (NEOM) to conduct pre-development studies for seven upcoming solar photovoltaic parks in the Tabuk and Duba regions. These solar parks play a crucial role in NEOM’s mission to become the world’s leading renewable energy hub.
The study will encompass a wide range of services, including site assessment, preliminary park design and master planning, environmental baseline surveys, environmental and social impact assessments, and permitting studies.
The company will conduct various assessments such as geotechnical, geophysical, topographical, hydrological, glint and glare, and corrosion evaluations. Additionally, Assystem will perform energy yield calculations and advanced park design.
Spanning over 420 km2, the designated sites hold the potential to generate more than 20 GW of energy, accounting for approximately 65% of land usage.
EES contract signed for a 2,174-apartment project in NEOM city
An engineered equipment supply contract has been signed for a 2,174-apartment project in NEOM city. The contract was signed by the international leader in modular building, the Scandinavian Industrial Building System (SIB).
The $500bn giga project will be developed right within northwestern Saudi Arabia. It will feature a total of 35 buildings that will serve as dedicated areas for workers who are assigned to the planning, engineering, and construction of NEOM.
By the third quarter of 2024, the development targets to have delivered the units.
About the 2,174-apartment project in NEOM city
Upon completion, the development will feature one and two-bedroom units. In addition to consistent amenities, each apartment will feature a balcony, an exclusive kitchen, and a bathroom.
Furthermore, the apartments will be compliant with NEOM’s regulations. Therefore, the project will incorporate sustainability into its design. As a result, the development will carry out the installation of solar panels on the buildings’ roofs. This in turn will enable the achievement of a considerable level of energy efficiency.
While commenting on the project’s agreement the CEO of SIBS said that they are excited to be a part of the development of NEOM. Erik Thomaeus further noted that the company will do its best to contribute towards the project becoming an international hub. In addition to being an innovative, business-centred, and sustainable development.
NEOM City; TONOMUS.NEOM Telecommunications Center opened
Recently, end of July 2023, TONOMUS, NEOM’s cognitive technology company, came to the completion of and opened its first digital communications facility.
Dubbed TONOMUS.NEOM Telecommunications Center, the facility spans an area of 18,000m2 in Oxagon, home to advanced and clean industries in NEOM City. It features a two-floor office building with the capacity to host up to 150 personnel, a high-capacity, highly efficient data centre and associated infrastructure.
The facility will reportedly power a software-driven network and secure private cloud that will serve up to 60 locations, 1,800 structures, 300,000 construction staff needed at NEOM by 2025 and 200 million IoT devices by 2030. Additionally, it will interface with key existing and future national and international digital networks and services to offer a seamless experience to end users.
Furthermore, it will enable predictive intelligence and cognitive solutions to create a sustainable, livable and equitable future.