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Aramco, Jacobs Engineering reportedly in talks for project management JV

by Indrajit Sen on May 14, 2017


The Saudi government has been seeking to cut costs on state infrastructure projects.
The Saudi government has been seeking to cut costs on state infrastructure projects.

Oil giant Saudi Aramco is close to selecting a partner for a joint venture it plans to set up to oversee government-related infrastructure projects in Saudi Arabia, according to Reuters.

US-based contractor Jacobs Engineering is believed to be the front-runner to be partner in the JV, while the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), is also expected to be involved, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Aramco, which is preparing for what is expected to be the biggest IPO in corporate history, is involved in projects across sectors not just oil, and the new company will provide project management services on infrastructure and non-oil related projects, according to the sources.

Saudi Aramco, Jacobs and the PIF all declined to comment on the development.

An announcement on the joint venture is due to be made on May 20, one of the sources said, which would coincide with US President Donald Trump's planned visit to Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi government, whose revenues have been hit by low oil prices, has been seeking to cut costs on state infrastructure projects.

In February it appointed US-based Bechtel Corp to set up and run a new National Project Management Organization (NPMO), known in Arabic as ‘Mashroat’, tasked with reducing inefficiencies on such projects.

Aramco's non-oil projects have included building the Al-Jawhara football stadium in Jeddah, managing floodwater drainage projects in Jeddah and it is currently building an economic city in Jizan in the southern part of the kingdom.


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