PARTNERSHIPS OF THE FUTURE

Saudi Arabia 2017 | INDUSTRY & MINING | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Mosleh Al Otaibi, CEO of the Royal Commission of Jubail, on the impact of the Vision 2030, how to make an industrial city smart, and the key to economic diversification through PPPs.

 Mosleh Al Otaibi
BIOGRAPHY
Mosleh Al Otaibi is the CEO of the Royal Commission of Jubail. An engineer by profession, he holds a PhD in electrical engineering. He led and held significant roles in several educational institutions in the Kingdom for over 15 years. Since October 2009, Al Otaibi has been spearheading the strategic development of petrochemicals industries in Jubail Industrial City and in Ras Al-Khair Industrial City in collaboration with key national and international industrial partners and stakeholders. He regularly participates in speaking engagements and conferences around the Kingdom and abroad.

In 4Q2016, 242 new projects were launched by the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. What impact will these have on the Jubail Industrial City and the development of the city?

The 242 new projects were related to oil and gas by Saudi Aramco; petrochemicals by Aramco JVs, SABIC, and the private sector; minerals by Ma'aden; and supporting infrastructure development led by the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu in collaboration with the private sector. They include the Satorp refinery and the Sadara petrochemical project, the largest integrated chemicals complex in the world to be built in one phase and with a production capacity of more than 3 million annual tons of various plastics and specialty chemical products. This will be beneficial in terms of added value and employment for the local and national economy. Other projects are the King Salman International Complex for Maritime Industries & Services in Ras Al-Khair and the Saudi Railway company's North-South Railway project to help Ma'aden move phosphate and Ma'aden Aluminum to deliver phosphate and bauxite ore from mines in the north to manufacturing areas in Ras Al-Khair. Each of them represents a positive development with huge economic impact.

How will Vision 2030 transform the industrial city?

Vision 2030 is built on three themes: a vibrant society, a thriving economy, and an ambitious nation. This has provided a methodology and roadmap for economic development action for the Kingdom, identifying general directions, policies, goals, and objectives. The public, private, and non-profit sectors are given strategic objectives, targets, and indicators to be achieved through developing their initiatives, which emphasizes partnerships with the private sector and maximizes local content, job creation, and the digital transformation of IT infrastructure. From its very inception, RCJY has taken the lead role in contributing to the local and national economic and social development through its integrated industrial and community development of new industrial cities with active government support. It has attracted private sector participation in a range of industrial and community development areas. The RCJY industrial cities are well geared through its established strategic and integrated master planning and project planning processes in implementing successive National Development Plans for the diversification of the economy through petrochemicals and minerals. We are therefore able to align most of our ongoing project initiatives with Vision 2030 and the National Transformational Programs. Although many of our strategic projects in the past were based on a build, operate, transfer (BOT) agreement basis, we are now actively studying other PPP options.

What are your expectations for Jubal in 2017?

In 2017, we are implementing projects for the National Transformational Program that include, among others, the city center, Jubail airport commercial operations, the development of community areas for Jubail and Ras Al-Khair, the further development of downstream industries and the logistics area, the consolidation of asset management practices, environmental protection areas, crisis management, and the development of security systems. All these projects are important for creating a sustainable city. For the city center and Jubail airport projects, we are considering PPPs. We are also completing our studies for some of these projects for phased development, while for others the primary infrastructure is being laid. For example, the airport project will be a phased development; the first will be for private aircraft, the second for cargo, and the third will be for the public. The target for completing the airport development through PPP will be 2020.