Saudi Aramco and its partners Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri), and Lamprell Plc have officially launched their International Maritime Industries (IMI) joint venture.
Initial production and service operations are expected to commence in 2019, with the facility reaching its full operational capacity by 2022.
The nearly 12 million square-meter facility to be situated in Ras Al Khair in eastern Saudi Arabia will be the largest in the region in terms of production capacity and scale, and will be able to manufacture over 40 vessels including three very large crude carriers (VLCCs), four offshore rigs and service over 260 maritime products, as indicated by Saudi Aramco.
This scope is expected to enable Saudi Aramco and its supply chain partners to meet their manufacturing and MRO requirements for offshore oil and gas rigs, offshore support vessels, and commercial vessels, including crude carriers.
“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. Its combination of technology, supply chain efficiencies and lifecycle partnership will create a world-class company that offers customers a keen competitive advantage,” Abdallah I. Al-Saadan, Chairman of the JV’s Board of Managers and Saudi Aramco’s Senior Vice President of Finance, Strategy & Development said.
According to Al-Saadan, the yard already has orders for more than 20 rigs and 52 ships over the next decade.
International Maritime Industries’ senior executives have also been appointed including Fathi K. Al-Saleem as CEO.
“International Maritime Industries is positioned to be a global competitor and a regional hub for maritime products and services. Through our combination of technology, integrated facilities and supply chain efficiencies, we are redefining what it means to partner with customers for maritime advancement,” Al-Saleem said.
The joint venture plans first surfaced in 2015, but the current structure of the parties involved was confirmed in 2016 when the companies signed a joint development agreement (JDA).
It is estimated that the total cost of constructing the maritime yard will be around USD 5.2 billion, of which approximately USD 3.5 billion will be funded by the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The remaining cost of up to USD 1.7 billion will be funded by the JV partners. The JV will see Saudi Aramco invest up to USD 350.7 million, Bahri up to USD 139.3 million, HHI up to USD 70 million and Lamprell up to USD 140 million, the companies said earlier.