PM Group, which is currently working on a range of projects in the Gulf region with a capital value close to €360m, has started work on a €45m food facility in Saudi Arabia, the company announced today.

The announcement was made during this week’s Enterprise Ireland trade mission of 45 companies to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which is being led by Minister of State for Trade and Development, Jan O’Sullivan.

The new facility is being developed for Halwani Bros, one of the Gulf’s oldest food manufacturing companies with major production plants in Jeddah and Egypt.  The complex incorporates separate sections for tahina and halawa; jams and foods; dairy and cheese and meat products.

In 2010, PM Group began working with Halwani Bros on phase one of the development, which comprises a 10,000 sq m facility for confectionary manufacture, sugar and contract packaging.  Phase two will see the construction of a new 50,000 sq m state-of-the-art facility that will supply food products to Saudi Arabia and also for export, with Halwani Bros having a growing presence in Europe and the US.

PM Group, meanwhile, has recently expanded its operations and services in Saudi Arabia from its base in Riyadh.

“We continue to see tremendous opportunities in Saudi Arabia,” said Donal Hutchinson, managing director – MENA, PM Group. “The recent investment made to expand our operations and service levels here has already proven worthwhile.

“We have now been working in the region since 2008 and have been very privileged to secure work with a range of high quality indigenous companies who are keen to implement international standard facilities in the high tech food, pharmaceutical, data centre and healthcare sectors.”

“This is another major win for an Irish company that has carved out a highly successful business in international markets,” said Minister O’Sullivan.  “The scale of this project is a testament to the high standing in which PM Group is held in this market.  They are recognised for their world class services and their success underpins the strong message that Irish companies can and do succeed in this vast and growing market’.

Frank Ryan, CEO of Enterprise Ireland, said Saudi Arabia is a very important high growth market for Irish exports.

“The success of PM Group is evidence of just what can be achieved,” he added. “The 45 companies taking part in this trade mission show how diverse the business opportunities are for ambitious and innovative companies.  Enterprise Ireland is working with them in the region to strengthen their business links in the Gulf States, develop strategic partnerships and win new business contracts.  This trade mission is a critical activity in supporting them to expand their market presence.”