Keller secures major piling contract for The Line in Neom

Geotechnical specialist contractor Keller has secured a major piling contract for The Line, which is being developed within Saudi Arabia’s $500bn futuristic city, Neom. It said that it is one of a small number of geotechnical contractors to have been selected to undertake work on the giga project, which is located in the Tabuk Province of northwest Saudi Arabia.

The company said that is has signed an umbrella framework agreement with respect to the project and was mobilising for an anticipated first works order on a portion of Module 40, which has an expected value to Keller of around $61.3mn, with the work anticipated to be completed within the next 12 months.

A 170km belt of hyperconnected future communities without cars and roads and built around nature, The Line is subdivided into approximately 135 modules, each containing eight buildings founded on large diameter bored piles, a statement from Keller said. The first element of the Neom project is ‘The Line’, starting in the west at the Gulf of Aqaba, continuing through the Sharma Valley and terminating at the Neom International Airport within the upper valley region. Further works orders are expected to be awarded later in the year on subsequent modules, Keller stated.

Keller pointed out that it had a longstanding presence in Saudi Arabia and was delighted to have been invited to participate in Neom.

“Following the signing of the framework agreement we are very well positioned to participate in the future geotechnical work, with the potential to generate contract revenues in the hundreds of million pounds in future years,” said a company spokesman.

Ahead of its H1 financial results, the German geotechnical contractor said that it expects 2022 to be a year of growth, with full year performance to have the customary second half weighting, and to reflect its usual increase in trading momentum as the year progresses.

Keller Group CEO Michael Speakman said: “Our delivery in line with our first half expectations and the group’s record and growing £1.5bn order book provides confidence for our performance in the second half and delivering on our expectations for the full year. Our involvement in the prestigious Neom project, together with a number of recent infrastructure and LNG contract wins, evidences the diversity and inherent resilience of the Group across the macroeconomic cycle.

He concluded, “The underlying strength of the group’s performance provides confidence in our longer-term prospects and is reflected in the board’s decision to recommence the progressive dividend policy with a 5% increase in the interim dividend for the first half of 2022.”

In March 2022, His Royal Highness Mohammed bin Salman unveiled a new mountain tourism project in Neom, following which, in the same month, Neom launched a new subsidiary to develop sustainable energy and water systems. In May, Neom and Saudia announced their intent to kick off weekly air service to international destinations.

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