Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) has awarded a sustainable transport consultancy for the Red Sea Project to Mott MacDonald.
Mott MacDonald will analyse the transport needs of The Red Sea Project, the ambitious regenerative tourism and residential project in Saudi Arabia, focusing on sustainability and protection of the natural beauty of the region.
The appointment is the latest step in the development of the Red Sea Project, a luxury tourist destination based around Saudi Arabia’s west coast. The first phase of the project involves establishing the infrastructure for future work. The new contract will analyse the land, sea and air transportation needs for both the development and operation of the site.
The focus will be on “clean mobility”, employing a range of electric and hydrogen powered boats, aircrafts and land vehicles. The company will also identify the most appropriate infrastructure for the site. This will include charging stations, both electric and hydrogen.
“We believe that environmental regeneration and commercial development do not have to be mutually exclusive,” said John Pagano, CEO of the Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) in a press release from the company. “Our destination is one of extraordinary natural beauty, which we have a responsibility to protect and enhance for future generations.” The Project aims to become a carbon neutral destination and Pagano says Mott MacDonald is “well-aligned with our strong sustainability ambitions.”
Sustainable fleet options
A wide number of vehicular options will be under consideration. Land-based vehicles being assessed include golf buggies, cars, vans, trucks, buses, e-bikes and off-road leisure pursuit vehicles. Passenger ferries and boats will form the marine element while seaplanes, helicopters and VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft make up the air contingent.
“Sustainable development is a matter of making choices and decisions that satisfy all relevant social, economic and environmental concerns, and is an area where TRSDC is setting new standards,” says Chris Seymour, Middle East Managing Director at Mott MacDonald. “We’re looking forward to being part of shaping this beautiful destination and supporting TRSDC’s progressive sustainability initiatives.”
TRSDC promises that the entire project will use 100 percent renewable energy, from a blend of solar and wind power. It also intends to invest in a range of nature-based solutions during the build, and will be partnering with vendors who can demonstrate a proven commitment and track record in sustainability and innovation in the protection of delicate eco-systems.
This approach will be vital given the site stretches over 28,000 square kilometres and encompasses a pristine archipelago of over 90 islands. 75 percent of the islands will remain undeveloped and nine have been designated as areas of special conservation interest. The remaining terrain is varied, encompassing mountains, canyons and dormant volcanoes. It also includes ancient heritage sites.
Project hopes to place Saudi Arabia on the global tourism map
The ambitious Red Sea Project is one of Saudi Arabia’s giga-projects, part of Vision 2030, the government’s plan to transform the socio-economic landscape of the country. The Red Sea Project will include a range of leisure, commercial and entertainment amenities; including 50 hotels and 1,300 residential properties. “The Project brings together luxury, culture and sustainability, all in one of the world’s last natural hidden treasures on The Red Sea in Saudi Arabia,” said Pagano in an interview with Blooloop.
TRSDC is a closed joint-stock company, established in 2018. It is owned in its entirety by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia. The main hub is at Shurayrah where work has started on the first phase of development, the Coastal Village. Around 500 contracts have been awarded to date, to a value of around $3.2 billion, including one to Archiridon involving the construction of a 3.3km crossing to the island.
Despite the disruptions of Covid-19, the project is making considerable progress. The project remains on target and the international airport and first four hotels are slated to open by the end of 2022.