|10 September, 2019

Saudi contract awards surge to highest in four years

The contract tally reached $17.2bln during the period

Image used for illustrative purpose. Labourers work at a construction site of Riyadh Metro in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 18, 2017.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Labourers work at a construction site of Riyadh Metro in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 18, 2017.

REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

LONDON: The value of contracts awarded in Saudi Arabia almost doubled in the second quarter compared to a year earlier, led by the energy, property and military sectors, according to a report published on Tuesday.

The contract tally reached SR64.3 billion ($17.2 billion) during the period — up 32 percent on the previous quarter and an increase of 92 percent on a year earlier, the US-Saudi Arabian Business Council (USABC) said in its report.

It represents the highest value of contracts awarded by quarter in four years with more awards made in the first half of this year than the whole of 2018.

“This highlights the resurgence in 2019, which is on pace to match the construction boom witnessed prior to the brief economic downturn,” USABC said.

The collapse of oil prices in 2014 led to billions of dollars worth of projects being placed on hold throughout the Gulf, but business activity in Saudi Arabia, the region’s largest economy has started to accelerate.

While a majority of the contracts were awarded by the government, the private sector was an active participant in the real estate sector in particular, USABC noted.

The oil and gas sector overwhelmingly dominated the contracts awarded in the period, accounting for almost three-quarter of the total.

Saudi Aramco continued awarding projects to international contractors at its Marjan oil field as well as the Tanajib oil complex in the Eastern Province, the council said.

For the second consecutive quarter, the Eastern Province contributed the largest share of awarded contracts by region.

The order pipeline for the rest of the year also looks set to continue the strong momentum, led by Aramco’s Marjan and Berri field projects as well as the first phase of the Red Sea Tourism Project.

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