A Reuters report quoting Saudi Arabia's energy minister Khalid al-Falih said that the country expects a huge ship repair and shipbuilding complex that its national oil company Saudi Aramco is developing at Ras al-Khair on the kingdom's east coast to cost over 20 billion riyals ($5.33 billion).
Falih who is also chairman of Aramco said: "Construction will start in 2018, production in 2022."
The government will finance the infrastructure of the complex such as dredging and other work as it did with other cities Jubail and Yanbu that have become major industrial hubs.
Ras al-Khair is itself turning into a major mining hub where Ma'aden has built an aluminium complex and phosphate facilities
The maritime complex is a joint venture between Saudi Aramco, Saudi Bahri
, South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries and Lamprell.
The project will help generate thousands of direct and indirect jobs, a key part of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030, an economic reform programme the government announced this year, in which Aramco is to play a big role in developing industrial projects as Saudi Arabia tries to diversify its economy beyond reliance on oil exports