DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A company owned by a member of the Saudi royal family is planning to build a $1 billion tire plant in Saudi Arabia to supply what the investors see as growing demand for premium tires there.
The company, National Tire Co. (NTC), plans to build the factory in Jubail, an industrial city in the eastern part of the kingdom on the Persian Gulf, according to Farid Dudin, general manager of Victoria Trading FZCO and head of the tire plant project.
NTC is an initiative of Fahad Bin Abdul-Rahman Bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud, a Saudi prince.
NTC said it had signed an agreement on the turnkey concept design with Finnish engineering consulting firm Black Donuts Engineering Inc., covering both the design of the factory itself and the design and development of the plant's products.
The project will create one of the "biggest and most modern individual tire factories in the world," the company stated. The plant, to be built on a 247-acre site in Jubail, will be engineered to produce 16 million passenger tires and 6 million radial truck/bus tires a year.
Production is expected to start by the second half of 2020 with employment of 4,000 at full capacity, the company said.
Pirkkala, Finland-based Black Donuts' input will include engineering work for a power plant, utility buildings, training facilities and an on-site mosque, Mr. Dudin said.
Dubai-based Victoria Trading is considered the project developer, handling registration feasibility, site contracting, financing, tendering, predesign contracting, machinery selection contracting, operation contracting and other important issues, Mr. Dudin said.
According to data from the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, car sales in the kingdom exceed 1.2 million annually and the size of the tire market is estimated at 30 million, all of which is imported.
NTC has not selected a brand name yet.
Dubai-based Victoria Trading describes itself as marketing company specializing in the sales of machinery and services packages for industrial projects in the cement, gypsum, coal mining and crushing as well as steel based industries.
Shahrzad Pourriahi, European Rubber Journal, contributed to this article