Saudi to build wheat silo, mill in Jizan
Riyadh, January 11, 2012
Saudi Arabia signed two deals worth 560 million Saudi riyals ($149.3 million) to build a wheat silo and a flour mill at Jizan Port, the state news agency reported on Wednesday, citing the country's agriculture minister.
The leading oil exporter plans to raise its storage capacity to more than 3 million tonnes of wheat from around 2 million tonnes in two years, enough to cover its annual consumption, the Saudi Press Agency quoted Agriculture Minister Fahad Balghunaim as stating.
The new Jizan silo will have a capacity of 120,000 tonnes of wheat.
Balghunaim, who also heads the country's state-run Grain Silos and Flour Mills Organisation (GSFMO), said the second contract was to build a mill with the capacity to process 600 tonnes of wheat a day. Both projects will take 26 months to complete.
In October, Waleed el-Khereiji, director general of GSFMO said various projects were already under way to add 710,000 tonnes of wheat storage capacity.
Saudi Arabia plans to import around 1.9 million tonnes of wheat this year, slightly up from the 2011 figure due to an increase in consumption and a planned decrease in local purchases.
The country abandoned plans for self-sufficiency in wheat in 2008 and aims to be 100 percent reliant on imports by 2016 in order to save water. - Reuters