Bechtel Among Companies Said to Bid to Manage Saudi Projects

  • Winning company will run National Project Management Office
  • Kingdom trying to increase project efficiency during oil slump

Bechtel Among Bidders to Manage Saudi Projects

Several international companies submitted bids last week for a consultancy contract to manage Saudi Arabia’s National Project Management Office, part of an effort to keep state spending under control as oil revenue shrinks.

Companies including Bechtel, Fluor, Parsons, CH2M, AECOM and Hill International are competing to manage the new office, which will oversee and support projects awarded by government agencies, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. The contract is expected to be awarded in the coming months, one of the people said.

The Saudi cabinet created the office last year to control capital spending as the world’s largest oil exporter tries to overhaul its crude-dependent economy. The kingdom’s budget deficit is forecast to reach 13.6 percent of economic output this year, according to a Bloomberg survey of nine economists.

The project management office will review government projects “to ensure their efficient implementation” and that they are “consistent with the development priorities and needs” as well as financial and funding requirements, the finance ministry said in its 2016 budget statement.

The winning company will manage the office for several years before handing it over to the government, one of the people said.

Bechtel, Parsons, CH2M and AECOM declined to comment. Fluor and Hill International did not respond to a request for comment.

The cabinet statement about the office named Economy Minister Adel Fakeih as board chairman. A spokesman for the ministry didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Oil prices plunged from more than $100 a barrel in 2014 to below $30 earlier this year. Brent crude was trading at $44.88 a barrel at 10:04 a.m. in Dubai on Tuesday.

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