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Arab News, Monday, Dec 05, 2022 | Jamadi Al Awwal 11, 1444

‏Saudi Arabia clears 725 industrial projects worth $265bn in 9 months to build domestic capacity

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia has issued permits for 725 industrial projects worth an accumulated SR1.37 trillion ($265 billion) in the first nine months of 2022, according to data from the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources.  

This comes as the Kingdom is pushing to develop domestic industrial and manufacturing sectors as part of its strategy to diversify away from the oil-based economy.  

In September alone, the ministry issued permits for 79 industrial projects estimated to be SR3.1 billion with up to 1,882 licensed workers, the data revealed.  

While national investors accounted for 84 percent of the projects in September, 16 percent were foreign-owned or joint ventures with foreign nations.  

Moreover, as many as 68 factories started production in September with a volume of investment of SR3.5 billion. The data revealed that the commencement of those factories also generated up to 4,219 jobs during September.  

By the end of September, the total number of industrial projects in the Kingdom hit 10,728, up from the 10,192 recorded same period a year earlier, according to data.  

In August 2022, the MIMR announced that the Kingdom issued permits for non-oil industrial projects worth an accumulated SR4.1 billion, MEED reported.  

Some 115 licenses were issued for non-oil industrial projects — 20 percent higher than those granted in July.  

Toward the end of August, the total number of industrial units in the Kingdom reached 10,707.  

Until September, the licensed projects covered several small and medium industries, including metals, chemicals, home appliances, paper, etc.  

Saudi Arabia is set to become the world leader in sustainable metal production as the Kingdom explores its mining potential, according to Khalid Al-Mudaifer, vice-minister for Mining Affairs, Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources. He further emphasized that the economic diversification was in line with the goals outlined in Vision 2030. 

Speaking at the Mines and Money conference earlier this month in London, Al-Mudaifer said that minerals are indispensable to the energy transition from hydrocarbons to renewables.      

“Decarbonization – the net-zero transition – cannot happen without minerals and metals: a lot of minerals and metals. We need to scale up discoveries, and we need to scale up production,” said Al-Mudaifer.  

The vice-minister added that mineral and metal supply chains need to become more resilient to meet rising demands and noted that the ongoing geopolitical tensions have exposed the vulnerabilities in the sector, which may result in “cost spikes of some minerals by 350 percent.”

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