The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), the developer behind one of the world’s most ambitious tourism development initiatives, has awarded a contract to Archirodon, a global leader in marine infrastructure projects, for the construction of key enabling works at the 28,000 square kilometre destination.
The contract award, which followed a competitive tender process, specifies the construction of a 3.3 km crossing to Shurayrah, the main hub island for the first phase of The Red Sea Project. Also included in the award are two coastal jetties, and a further four island jetties. The work is scheduled for completion by November 2020.
“This is a watershed agreement for The Red Sea Development Company, representing our first major construction contract award and the start of full-scale development of the site,” said John Pagano, CEO of The Red Sea Development Company.
“We selected Archirodon based on our confidence in their ability to meet the unique challenges that The Red Sea Project presents, and their commitment throughout the procurement process to meeting our strict sustainability guidelines,” added Pagano.
“Archirodon has a proven track record in marine infrastructure developments around the world, delivering projects underpinned by innovation and the latest advances in construction” said Dennis Karapiperis, CEO of Archirodon.
“We are honored to be signing the first significant development contract for the Red Sea Project and glad to be part of a team that is so passionate about protecting the environment” he added.
The crossing will connect a hub island, that will feature nine hotels as well as retail, leisure and entertainment amenities, to the mainland. It will comprise two causeways linked by a bridged span. The crossing route was modelled to ensure water flows and marine life were not impacted. Rather than taking the shortest route to the island, it makes use of existing land masses and is planned to avoid corals and to protect the surrounding ecosystems. The initial structure will later be built upon to provide the permanent crossing to the hub island when the destination opens, further limiting the environmental impact of construction.
On one outer lagoon island, the jetty will attach to a floating platform moored to two pylons, or ‘dolphins’, for stability. This complex arrangement protects the corals that thrive in the shallow waters around the shoreline while facilitating the offloading of men, materials and machinery onto the island. Development of the destination will rely heavily on the use of prefabrication and modular construction to minimize the number of construction workers on site and limit the environmental footprint.
To ensure the involvement of local businesses in the project, the rock required to build the causeways will be sourced from ten local quarries, a number which is likely to increase as progress is made. The first shipment of rocks has already been delivered to the development site to facilitate an early start to construction.
Local companies will also be engaged in many other areas of the work, including sourcing labor and the supply of ready-mix concrete, fuel, steel box girders and cross bracing frames, as well as other support services.
“A key objective of The Red Sea Project is to create jobs for the Saudi population, both during the development of the destination and throughout its operations,” said John Pagano. “The involvement of local companies is a core consideration in our engagement of international contractors, ensuring that we protect and create jobs and facilitate the transfer of knowledge, ultimately enhancing the global competitiveness of Saudi talent.”
The marine infrastructure is key to progressing the development, which is on track for completion by the end of 2022, including 14 luxury hotels with over 3,000 rooms, built over five islands and two inland resorts. It will also include a yachting marina, entertainment facilities, an airport, and the necessary supporting logistics and utilities infrastructure. Earlier this year, TRSDC announced that construction had begun on site and its Base Camp was fully operational.
“We will be connected to our hub island by barge for transporting materials and labour from December 2019 and by road from June 2020,” said Ian Williamson, Chief Project Delivery Officer at The Red Sea Development Company. “The early marine works will underpin successful delivery of the Project, providing a solid foundation that will ensure the smooth and efficient movement of people, materials and equipment in and around our destination, while obviating any impact on the environment.”