Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, broke ground Monday on the King Salman Energy Park (SPARK), located in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province.
SPARK is a 50-square-kilometer energy city megaproject which will position Saudi Arabia as a global energy, industrial and technology hub and will unite approximately 300 industrial and service facilities. Two-thirds of the development consists of industrial land. The remaining part is a mixed-use community with housing, offices, training centers, hotels and other supporting facilities offered as investment opportunities to real estate investors.
The first phase of the development will be completed by 2021.
SPARK has already attracted investments from foreign and local companies to produce and manufacture goods and services in the Kingdom’s energy sector. The investment in the first phase of the project is expected to be around $1.6 billion.
Saudi Aramco is at the heart of SPARK’s development, helping to bring businesses together to drive efficiencies and promote technological development, manufacturing and exports, as well as build a world-class energy supply chain. SPARK’s role in enabling localization within the Kingdom’s energy supply chain aligns with the strategic goals of Saudi Aramco’s In-Kingdom Total Value Add (IKTVA) program.
During the groundbreaking ceremony, Khalid Al-Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources and Saudi Aramco chairman, announced that SPARK will be a Special Economic Zone, where tenants will benefit from regulatory, fiscal and non-fiscal support. SPARK’s status supports the energy city’s objective to attract investments and improve its competitiveness for the regional and global export of energy products and services.
Highlighting SPARK’s role in unlocking the full potential of the Kingdom’s energy resources in line with the Kingdom’s economic transformation plan, Al-Falih said: “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. 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 Aramco President and CEO Amin Nasser said: “The King Salman Energy Park will start a new era of growth for one of the Kingdom’s thriving sectors. 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. We’re looking forward to collaborating with our first anchor partners at SPARK, as we are investing in business opportunities for international investors and private-sector companies in the Kingdom. Together, we are building a world-class energy hub that will accelerate solutions across the value-chain for generations.”
When operational, SPARK is estimated to contribute more than $6 billion to the Kingdom’s GDP annually and create up to 100,000 direct and indirect jobs.
SPARK has already attracted interest from major international investors such as Schlumberger; Baker Hughes GE; Halliburton; Oilfields Supply Center; Emerson; National Energy Services; Valco; Huatong; Borets; and Al-Rushaid Group.
Saudi Aramco collaborates closely with the Saudi Authority for Industrial Cities and Technology Zones which plays a vital role in developing industrial cities with integrated infrastructure and services. Saudi Aramco will transfer its Drilling and Workover operation headquarters to SPARK.