Bahri, the world’s largest owner and operator of very large crude carriers, has embarked on a fleet expansion mission having signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Saudi Arabia-based International Maritime Industries (IMI) and the world’s largest shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) to build new Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs).
IMI, the newly established joint venture between Lamprell, Saudi Aramco, Bahri & HHI, is set to receive the first order from Bahri before the end of July 2019.
Bahri informed that IMI will engage HHI as a sub-contractor to build the vessel in South Korea, in turn HHI will help facilitate the transfer of knowledge enabling IMI to independently build VLCCs to international shipbuilding standards in Saudi Arabia.
Abdullah Aldubaikhi, CEO of Bahri, said that the order forms part of the company’s role in enabling Saudi Arabia “transform into an important regional and global logistics and transportation hub.”
The contract represents the first order secured by the JV yard, tipped to be the largest, full-service maritime facility in the Middle East and North Africa.
The yards is expected to have a capacity to manufacture four offshore rigs, over 40 vessels including three VLCCs, and service over 260 maritime products on an annual basis.
According to its shareholders, major production operations are expected to commence toward the end of 2020 with the facility reaching its full production capacity by 2022.