Middle East expansion marks first permanent push into the kingdom

Cleveland Bridge is set to open a new steel fabrication plant in Saudi Arabia by spring next year.

The firm has been out in the Middle East since 1982, when it set up business in Dubai under the Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Middle East banner.

Wembley arch
Cleveland Bridge provided steel for Wembley

This business is 51% owned by the Dubai government, with the remainder taken up by the parent of Cleveland Bridge in the UK, investment group Al Rushaid. The new plant will be known as Cleveland Bridge Saudi Arabia and will be wholly owned by Al Rushaid.

The new factory marks Cleveland Bridge’s first permanent foray into Saudi and will be capable of producing 50,000 tonnes of steel a year – making it the largest producer of steel by tonnage of the Cleveland Bridge plants. Its factory in Dubai produces around 40,000 tonnes a year while its plant in England at Darlington can produce anywhere between 20,000 and 35,000 tonnes a year.

The steel fabricated in Saudi will be used entirely for the Middle East market, on jobs such as commercial buildings and oil and gas plants.

UK managing director Brian Rogan, who has been offering technical advice on the new plant, said the UK and Middle East arms only usually worked together on bridge projects out there.

He added: “A lot of the stuff out there is relatively straightforward. We get involved on bridges, which are a bit more complex and require heavier steel.”