(MENAFN - Arab News) The Saudi Industrial Development Fund's board of directors (SIDF) has approved eight new loans worth SR674 million to establish four new industrial projects and expand four existing ones, according to Ali bin Abdullah Al-Ayed, director general of the fund.
He said the fund would continue to support the cement sector to meet the growing demand for the product in different regions. "We have approved a loan of SR300 million to establish a new cement factory in Hail."
The new factory would produce 1.7 million tons of cement annually, which can meet the requirement of its targeted market.
Chemical industries have won second position in terms of loans allocated by the fund's board of directors, said Al-Ayed, adding that the sector received SR136 million. Other industrial sectors received SR118 million loans while consumer industries got SR77 million and construction industries SR43 million.
He said the fund gave a loan of SR24 million for a juice factory and another loan valued at SR18 million for a bottled water factory in Wadi Al-Dawasser.
"The fund has decided to give loans worth 75 percent of the cost of projects in less developed regions and Wadi Al-Dawasser is one of them," he pointed out.
SIDF gave a loan of SR118 million for the expansion of an industrial project in Yanbu to store petroleum products. It has given SR43 million for the expansion of a construction products factory in Riyadh.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah recently doubled the capital of SIDF to SR40 billion (10.7 billion). The state-owned fund grants medium and long-term loans for private industrial projects.
Saudi Arabia is looking to diversify its economy, reducing dependence on oil revenues. It has spent 400 billion over the five years to 2013 to upgrade its infrastructure and has launched a plan to build five mega economic and industrial cities.
The SIDF has issued 3,344 loans worth SR95 billion since it was first set up in 1974 to support industrial services projects as well as raising the amount of financing available for projects in less developed areas of the Kingdom.
Last year the Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Maaden) said the SIDF would help finance the second phase of its 10.8 billion integrated smelter and rolling mill complex.