Aramco to set up maritime complex with local and international partners
Saudi Aramco, has set up International Maritime Industries (IMI), its joint venture with Lamprell, the National Shipping Company and Hyundai Heavy Industries Company, to build a multi-billion dollar maritime yard in the kingdom, which it expects will be fully operational in 2022.
The JV, which is the anchor project within the King Salman International Complex for maritime industries and services at Ras Al Khair, was officially launched on Friday and will be headed by Fathi Al Saleem, Aramco said, adding that the initial production and service operations are expected to start in 2019.
“International Maritime Industries is positioned to be a global competitor and a regional hub for maritime products and services,” Mr Al Saleem said. “Through our combination of technology, integrated facilities and supply chain efficiency, we are redefining what it means to partner with customers for maritime advancement.”
The 12-million-square-km facility will have the largest production capacity in the Arabian Gulf region and will help Aramco and its partners reduce costs, cut down response time and boost agility when it comes to offshore drilling and shipping activities.
The yard will have annual capacity to build four offshore rigs, more than 40 vessels including three very large crude carriers and it will be able to service over 260 maritime products.
The JV is part of Saudi Arabia’s economic diversification plans as the kingdom, the region’s biggest economy, seeks to rationalise spending, create jobs for local workforce and develop the alternative revenue lines to compensate for dwindling hydrocarbon revenues. It is branching out into new businesses and has been busy sealing deals this year.
Aramco itself has been lined up for part privatisation and an IPO of about 5 per cent stake is expected to yield US$100 billion in possibly the biggest-ever share sale globally.
Last week, Aramco signed two agreements with the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, a government body that manages free zones in the country, to set up two industrial projects at Ras Al Khair. In November, Aramco and Sabic signed an agreement to build one of the world’s largest oil-to-chemicals facilities valued at $20bn.
Aramco also plans to raise its spending to $414bn over the next 10 years, including on infrastructure and drilling. The new capital expenditure target revealed earlier in December is higher than $334bn announced in 2017.
Aramco’s vice president for procurement and supply chain management, Abdulaziz Al Abdulkarim, in March said the company’s investment in a new energy industrial city in Saudi Arabia is estimated at $4.4bn while its investment in Ras Al Khair may reach 21.8bn Saudi riyals (US$5.81bn).
The chief executive of the JV, Mr Al Saleem has worked at Aramco for more than 23 years and led the feasibility and commercial development stages of IMI.
“By meeting Saudi Aramco’s offshore production and transport needs, International Maritime Industries will serve our strategic intent to become the world’s foremost integrated energy and chemicals company,” said Abdullah Al Saadan, chairman of the JV’s board of managers and Aramco’s senior vice president of finance, strategy and development.