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US-based engineering company Bechtel has signed a five-year contract extension to continue management services work at Jubail and Ras Al Khair industrial cities in Saudi Arabia

Jubail edwardmusiak flickrThe Jubail industrial city development spans 1,016 sq km. (Image source: Edward Musiak/Flickr)

Bechtel said that the project, located in the eastern province of the Kingdom, was the world?s largest single industrial development project as a city built from sand, requiring logistical planning on an unprecedented scale.

The company has been worked with the Royal Commission on the Jubail project since it began in the mid-1970s.

Mosleh Al-Otaibi, chief executive of Royal Commission for Jubail, said, ?Bechtel is a key part of our team and they have played a major role in helping us to plan and implement the growth of Jubail and Ras Al Khair.?

The Jubail industrial city development spans 1,016 sq km and provides petrochemical and other industrial complexes, major harbour and port facilities, telecommunications, and a highway system.

Jubail and Ras Al Khair currently employ an estimated 140,000 people, which is predicted to rise to 190,000 by 2021. Over the next five years, Bechtel?s work will focus on providing residential accommodation and education facilities such as 18,000-student ?greenfield? university and roads, bridges, medical centres, power, water and waste facilities, said a top Bechtel official.

Toby Seay, president of Bechtel?s global infrastructure business, said, ?Jubail is one of the world?s iconic engineering projects.?

Jubail and Ras Al Khair contain Saudi Arabia?s leading petrochemical and minerals clusters and are main contributors to the country?s economic growth. Jubail alone produces seven per cent of the world?s petrochemicals.