One of the largest civil engineering projects in the world today

Jubail also is one of Bechtel’s most remarkable achievements—a city built from the sand up, requiring vast resources and logistical planning on an unprecedented scale. It the biggest civil engineering project in modern times—and it's getting bigger.

Bechtel has managed the Jubail project, located in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, since it began in the mid-1970s. The Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu later asked the company to manage Jubail II, an $11 billion (2006-2016) expansion of the city’s industrial and residential areas. The project was expanded for a further five-years in 2016 with Bechtel’s work focusing on providing residential accommodation and education facilities - including a 18,000-student 'greenfield' university - as well as roads, bridges, medical centers, and power, water and waste facilities. 

Jubail has evolved into a major player in the global petrochemicals market, attracting top technical and business minds from 40 countries.


Jubail took project management to a grand scale. At peak, the workforce reached 20,000 per month. Total installed cost exceeded $20 billion (1976-2016). With a population of more than 100,000, Jubail accounts for more than 7 percent of Saudi Arabia's gross domestic product. To meet demand over the next quarter-century, the Jubail II effort:

  • adds a second industrial area to house up to 22 new primary industries
  • expands King Fahd Industrial Port
  • refurbishes pipelines
  • increases cooling-system capacity
  • adds residential development for more than 120,000 residents

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Inside the project

The development comprises two ports—industrial and commercial—located within a 17-square-mile (44-square-kilometer) artificial harbor protected by 11 miles (18 kilometers) of breakwater.

King Fahd Industrial Port handles steel, fertilizers, chemicals, petrochemicals, and other sectors. It handles liquid cargo and dry bulk―such as iron ore, alumina, sulfur, and metalized sponge briquettes―at solids and liquid quays, and a 440-acre (178-hectare) refinery tank farm. Offshore terminals berth 300,000 dead-weight tonnage product tankers and unload iron ore from 200,000 dead-weight tonnage bulk carriers.

The commercial port handles general cargo―break-bulk, palletized, and containerized. It will have 20 berths and handle all general cargo for the entire industrial complex as well as for a large surrounding region of Saudi Arabia.

The development also comprises a 5.6-mile-by-984-foot (9 kilometer-by-300 meter) causeway, with a four-berth open-sea tank terminal, a dry-bulk terminal with nine berths, a service quay, and a module-import facility―all built under contracts to the Saudi Ports Authority. In 1980, our customer committed to adding a petrochemical quay, refinery tank farm, and seven inner berths for ships up to 80,000 dead-weight tons.

Roadway systems

A modern regional highway system links the community to other parts of the kingdom. A main highway between Dammam and Jubail, six lanes wide within the project area, forms the spine of the development. Feeder and collector roads branch off to community and industrial areas. Bechtel has managed all roadway development, engineering, and construction.

The roadway development totals more than 534 miles (860 kilometers) and 63 bridges, including 203 miles (327 kilometers) in the industrial area and 78 miles (126 kilometers) for the community.

Recycling on a massive scale

Out team created a recycling initiative across all 50 contract sites on this project. The team reused or recycled more than 198 tons of wooden pallets, 87 tons of oil, 481 tons of scrap metal, 15 tons of cardboard, 5 tons of plastic, and 7,000 tons of demolished asphalt and other granular waste. These efforts avoided creating nearly 8,000 tons of waste.

Bechtel 120: Jubail Industrial City