The Waad Mining City in the North of Jeddah endorsed by the Cabinet on Monday will receive SR26 billion in preliminary investments including the setting up of a SR21 billion phosphate company, Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Ali Al-Naimi said Tuesday.
Speaking to the Saudi Press Agency, he said the government would spend SR4.5 billion on building the infrastructure of the city covering an area of 440 sq. km, northeast of Turaif.
He said the project would boost the welfare of people in the Northern Border Province. “It also aims at creating more jobs for Saudis and realizing the balanced development of the Kingdom’s regions.”
Al-Naimi said the city would add SR15 billion to the country’s gross domestic product. The city will have a railway and an electricity supply system. Three wharfs will be constructed in Ras Al-Khair Port as part of the project.
In a similar statement, Prince Faisal bin Turki, an adviser at the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, said the project would boost economic and social development. Diversification of revenue sources is the project’s main objective. “It will contribute to the establishment of a sustainable industry that would accelerate the region’s economic growth,” Prince Faisal said.
Khaled Al-Mudaifer, CEO of Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden), said the availability of large quantities of phosphate near gas wells in the north and the presence of a railway system would boost phosphate industry as well as downstream industries.
He emphasized Maaden’s ability to carry out giant projects including a SR21 phosphate complex that began operations last year. “We are also working on a SR40 billion aluminum smelter,” he added.
The Maaden chief said the Waad city would offer 20 investment opportunities for the private sector and create 2,700 direct jobs and more than 22,000 indirect jobs. “We have agreed with the ministry to set up an advanced center to train Saudi youths. There will be another center to help investors.”
He disclosed plans to establish seven large factories of international standard in the city with an annual capacity of 16 million tons to produce phosphate concentrates, sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid, calcium phosphate, concentrated phosphoric acid and sodium tri poly phosphate.