SNC-Lavalin joins THE LINE project in Saudi Arabia

The ambitious project aims to rethink urban design and sustainability.


A rendering shows THE LINE, a linear city under construction in Saudi Arabia. – NEOM

Key Takeaways:

  • SNC-Lavalin has been awarded a five-year contract to provide project and construction management consultancy services for THE LINE.
  • THE LINE is a linear smart city under construction in Saudi Arabia in Neom, Tabuk Province, which is designed to have no cars, streets or carbon emissions.
  • Project officials say the first residents could be moving in by 2030.

The Whole Story:

Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin will be working on a massive, linear city under construction in Saudi Arabia. 

The Canadian engineering and construction firm has been appointed as a delivery partner organization for THE LINE at NEOM. According to SNC, the enormous project represents a civilizational revolution that will have no roads, cars or carbon emissions.

The linear city development is designed to be 170-kilometres long and 200 metres wide on a 34-square-kilometre site. The design also features 100 per cent clean energy to accommodate nine million residents. The project also plans to ensure that 95% of the surrounding NEOM region will be protected for conservation.

SNC-Lavalin has been awarded a five-year contract under a framework agreement for consultancy services on THE LINE. In collaboration with NEOM and other delivery partner organizations, SNC-Lavalin will provide project and construction management consultancy services for the design, procurement, construction, testing and commissioning of the project, together with the management of the critical interfaces that the linear city shares with adjacent NEOM projects and logistics. The firm stated that the project has adopted a highly collaborative delivery model in response to its scale, complexity, supply chain and requirements for innovation.  

“With a vision for engineering a sustainable society, SNC-Lavalin is committed to helping governments and the private sector meet their Net Zero targets by providing our global expertise and world-class sustainability solutions,” said Ian L. Edwards, president and CEO of SNC-Lavalin. “THE LINE is a central component of NEOM, which itself is one of the largest projects under Saudi Vision 2030. The linear, cognitive city will play a significant role in helping NEOM accelerate the Kingdom’s economic diversification agenda by redefining the urban living experience, boosting tourism, and creating job opportunities for the people of Saudi Arabia.”

The project’s approach to city design includes layering city functions vertically while giving people the possibility of moving seamlessly in three dimensions to access them. Officials called this concept “zero gravity urbanism”. The development’s infrastructure will be embedded with sustainable, smart technology containing essential utilities and transportation services, generating car-free communities and public realms.

“THE LINE is a truly ground-breaking, world-first project and we are proud to have the opportunity to bring our global engineering, digital and Net Zero expertise to help create a lasting legacy for the Kingdom and its people,” said Philip Hoare, president, engineering services, UK and Europe, Middle East, India and Canada, SNC-Lavalin. “As a delivery partner organization, we will work closely with NEOM and our partners to seamlessly connect people, data and technology to drive innovation, value, efficiency and certainty on the project. Our combined intent is to radically transform the way major infrastructure projects are delivered and THE LINE, with its vision and complexity, provides a great opportunity to demonstrate what our industry can achieve.”

Globally, SNC-Lavalin has developed the Engineering Net Zero (ENZ) program, which focuses on leading the engineering industry to achieve Net Zero Carbon as rapidly as possible, by helping clients manage climate risks and build climate resilience. 

SNC-Lavalin’s presence in the region has grown. It has regional offices in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Al Khobar, supporting clients in buildings and places, transportation, energy and water sectors. Some of the company’s key projects in Saudi Arabia include Diriyah Gate, Six Flags Qiddiya theme park, Riyadh Metro, and King Abdulaziz International Airport.


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