75 Years of Partners in Progress

Bechtel is privileged to have worked in Saudi Arabia for 75 years developing megaprojects from oil and gas facilities to airports and critical infrastructure.

Our experience includes assisting the Royal Commission of Jubail and Yanbu in the development and  expansion of Jubail and Waad Al Shamaal Industrial cities. Bechtel has worked on significant infrastructure projects in Saudi Arabia, including King Fahd and King Khalid airports, and industrial plants, such as the Ras Al Khair aluminum smelter. Currently, Bechtel is working on Lines 1 and 2 of the Riyadh Metro project and assisting the KSA government in setting up Mashroat, a National Project Management Office (NPMO), to streamline processes and systems across government entities.

Bechtel celebrates 75 years in the KSA

A quick look at the partnership that developed over the past 75 years:

Forging A Strong Partnership

  • 1943

    Ras Tanura Refinery

    Bechtel’s first contract in Saudi Arabia. The 50,000-barrel-a-day refinery was
    completed in 1945.

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  • 1944

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    HRH Prince Faisal Bin Abdulaziz first met Steve Bechtel Sr.

  • 1947

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    The Trans-Arabian Pipeline (Tapline) Bechtel begins building the 754-mile (1,214-kilometer) pipeline on a direct route from the Arabian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea.

  • 1949

    Bechtel brings electricity to the homes of Riyadh.

  • 1951

    Safaniya Oil Field is the first offshore drilling platform ever undertaken in the Eastern Hemisphere. The oil field now has a production capacity of 1.2 million barrels per day and is considered the largest in the world.

Laying the Foundation 

  • 1974

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    King Khalid International Airport

    Comprises four passenger terminals with eight aerobridges, a mosque, parking for 11,600 vehicles, a Royal Terminal, a central control tower and two parallel runways.

    Largest Airport of its time

    At 192,000 acres (776 square kilometers), King Fahd International Airport it is the world’s largest airport at the time in terms of area.

  • 1981

    King Abdulaziz International Airport occupies 6 square miles (15 square kilometers). Construction on KAIA began in 1974 and was officially inaugurated in April 1981.

Industrial Age & Meeting Demand

  • 1993

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    The Shoaiba Power Plant, a multi-stage flash distillation water desalination plant, is built by Bechtel and Doosan Heavy Industries.

    Hawiya and Uthmaniya GOSPS  2, 3, and 4 are independent GOSPs that are about 6 miles (15 kilometers) apart. The facilities' primary function is to separate crude oil produced from the wells into three phases of oil, gas, and water.

  • 1997

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    Construction begins on a dramatic new high-rise development in Riyadh, comprising 3.2 million square feet (297,290 square meters) of office, meeting, residential, hotel, and retail space.

  • 1998

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    Bechtel completes the Shaybah oil field development in Saudi Arabia with estimated reserves of over 14 billion barrels of crude  oil and 25 trillion cubic feet (7 trillion cubic meters) of gas.

Building for the Future

  • 2005

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    A Bechtel-Technip joint venture was awarded a contract to build new natural gas processing facilities at Khursaniyah, near Jubail Industrial City in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province.

  • 2010

    Ras Al Khair is the largest and most efficient vertical ly integrated aluminium complex in the world and a first for Saudi Arabia.

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  • 2012

    Bechtel was awarded program management of Wa’ad Al Shamaal City, a 170-square-mile (442-square-kilometer) greenfield industrial city that will include commercial buildings, housing, educational facilities, and other supporting infrastructure, along with seven new phosphate processing plants.

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    RAZMIC Industrial City master planning for an industrial city which will be a world center for the metals and minerals industries, and which includes highways, rails, port, and a full range of utilities

  • 2013

    Bechtel and Atkins will work as part of an integrated team with the Economic Cities Authority to advance the development of four economic cities.

    The BACS consortium was selected to deliver Lines 1 and 2 of the Riyadh Metro which will form part of the six-line mega project.

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  • 2016

    In May 2016, Saudi Arabia Bechtel Company (SABCO) entered into an agreement with the Riyadh College of  Technology to provide training and employment opportunities to their students. The goal of this program is to train and hire 75 Saudi technicians in three specialties: survey, civil, and architecture.

  • 2017

    Bechtel was awarded a contract to support setting up and operating the National Project Management Organization (NPMO) in Saudi Arabia. NPMO will support Saudi government agencies to effectively deliver complex infrastructure projects, in line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan to modernize the Kingdom’s administration.

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  • 2018

    Bechtel marks 75 years in Saudi Arabia, celebrating a partnership with Kingdom that has helped shape the nation

    Bechtel launches a women’s empowerment initiative in Saudi Arabia. The program supports the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goal to increase women’s participation in the workforce.

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For more than a century, Bechtel has held the belief that we build more than projects, we help society through economic development. We are committed to building local capacities for the long term, including advancing initiatives that help local suppliers develop critical skills to be more competitive in future opportunities — whether with Bechtel or other projects. As a company, Bechtel has been instrumental in developing Saudi talent and we take pride in seeing young engineers grow into successful managers on projects, like Jubail and NPMO.

Bechtel started a major new graduate recruitment program with the Riyadh College of Technology (RCT). We are training and will hire 75 students who are pursuing careers in civil engineering, architecture, or survey technology. The training includes work experience at a Bechtel project in country. Bechtel’s trainees will be contributing towards Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

Partnering on Projects in Saudi Arabia

National Project Management Organization

As part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 Plan, NPMO will support Saudi government agencies to effectively deliver complex  infrastructure projects, modernizing the Kingdom. The NPMO is being established with the aim of improving the goverment's capital expenditure program, to enable government entities project managemen toffices to develop and improve related policies and create a dynamic ecosystem to deliver efficient and effective projects with the greatest impact. 

Ministry of Economy & Planning - Accelerated Capital Expenditure (ACE)

Bechtel led the assessment of project management structures and procedures across Saudi Ministries and entities. Based on Bechtel's global experience and deep understanding of the issues affecting project management, Bechtel has identified several elements for improving project management practice and increasing effectiveness across government ministries in KSA. 

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Waad Al Shamaal City & Phosphate Project

Bechtel provided project management support to the Saudi Arabian Mining Company to develop an indsutrial city and phosphate mining complex in a 170 square-mile (440 square-kilometer) zone near Turayf in northern Saudia Arabia. The phosphate complex includes final processing units and ship loading facilities at Ras Al Khair in the Eastern Province. As part of our services, we managed the interface of stakeholder projects that support of the development, including power, rail, water, port, and other critical infrastructure. 

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Riyadh Metro

A Bechtel-led consortium, which includes Almaban General Contractors, Consolidated Contractos Company, and Seimens, are designing and building two rail lines of the Riyadh Metro network. The lines, along with four others, will  be a part of the backbone of Riyadh's new public transporation network. The consortium is responsible for design, construcation, rolling stock, and signaling, as well as electrification and integration of the new lines to the rest of the system. 

Giving Back: Social Responsibility in Jubail

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Bechtel has been living and working in the Jubail community since the beginning. It is natural for us that we are also part of giving back and supporting that community. Mark Phillpot, project director for Jubail

Thinking and acting sustainably is part of the fabric of Bechtel’s business. As one of our core values, sustainability is a yardstick by which we measure our success and our contribution to the world. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Saudi Arabia.

Over the past 75 years, Bechtel has delivered more than 300 projects, ranging from construction to program management. In that time, we have worked together with our customers to ensure our contributions extend beyond the remit of each project and have a lasting positive impact on the people and country. For example, we have trained hundreds of Saudi engineers and professionals, and supported the country in developing its knowledge base and capabilities. Jubail is a good illustration of this approach. 

Bechtel has been part of this city’s extraordinary story from the very beginning. What was once a small fishing village is now a thriving, self-sustaining hub that attracts workers and their families from around the world. The city was built with sustainability at its heart – and part of this involves helping to foster a cohesive, socially conscious community.

In 2016, Bechtel’s team in Jubail decided to take its social responsibility activities to a new level. Mark Phillpot, Bechtel project director for Jubail, established a new Social Responsibility Committee dedicated to initiating and organising events and activities that would engage Bechtel employees and give back to the Jubail community. The Committee has organized everything from environmental clean-up exercises to annual gift-giving during Ramadan. Each event gives back and offers an opportunity for Bechtel employees and their families to come together as their own cohesive community.

Bechtel colleagues are unwavering in the dedication to the core values and covenants. Everyone personally contributes to the well-being of their local community.

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