MIDDLE EAST (The Middle East countries are starting to see minimal GDP growth in the 4th Q of 2020):
The Middle East construction sector is still dealing with the aftereffects of COVID-19 and is currently trying to lessen the problem. A few countries continued construction activity, while others either completely or partially closed down, long lead equipment and bulk material delays and worker testing was and still is challenging. Construction activities in most Middle-East countries are starting to gradually move forward again as we transition into the 4th Q of 2020.
Taking on new personnel / staff & construction workers from other countries remains a major challenge in many countries. Some countries are requesting workers from other countries to be quarantined for 14 days, the cost and logistics of this is significant. Delays in procurement / buy out of materials and equipment from countries such as China, Italy, France and the USA and the associated costs of mitigating these delays persists in being a problem. Extremely exacting safety measures have been introduced which will increase costs and negatively impact construction productivity. Many migrant construction workers returned to their home countries and are experiencing difficulties in retuning back to the Middle East.
Large CAPEX dollar new green field upstream projects are just about impossible to fund, many national oil companies are turning their attention to smaller brownfield upgrades and de-bottleneck projects where the ROI can be enhanced. Numerous large Middle-East upstream and downstream Petro-Chemical & Gas mega-projects are currently being delayed due to labor issues and delays to key components. The current oversupply and low oil pricing levels is adding to this problem.
The falling demand for oil and the effect of the COVID-19 virus are a massive problem for Middle East countries. Look for continuing layoffs, downsizing, project delays / cancellations & major CAPEX reductions across all Middle-East construction sectors as we move into the 4th Q of 2020.
Qatar, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, the UAE & Saudi Arabia are in the same boat as many other countries. These countries are pronouncing new hygiene & travel restrictions, procedures & protocols as the number of Coronavirus infections keeps ramping up. The pandemic has the potential for all Middle-East future or current ongoing construction projects to be delayed or worst case postponed. The economic impact and fallout of the Coronavirus still needs TBD as we transition into the 4th Q of 2020.