Saudi Aramco and its partners announced the launch of and appointed a Fathi K. Al-Saleem as CEO of a joint venture shipyard International Maritime Industries (IMI).
In a bid to diversify Saudi economy away from crude oil, the shipyard is expected to be fully operational in 2022, Saudi Aramco said in a statement. Its JV partners include rig builder Lamprell Plc, the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) and Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. (HHI).
Al-Saleem has more than 23 years’ experience at Saudi Aramco and led the feasibility and commercial development stages of IMI. Other executives were also appointed at the same time.
Saudi Aramco expects the 12 million square-meter yard to be one of the largest full-service maritime facilities in the region when fully operational in terms of production capacity and scale.
The yard will help 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 Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCC). The yard has an annual capacity to manufacture four offshore rigs, over 40 vessels including three VLCCs, and service over 260 maritime products, the statement said.
“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,” said Abdullah I. Al-Saadan, chairman of the JV’s Board of Managers and Saudi Aramco’s senior vice president of Finance, Strategy & Development.
IMI already has orders for more than 20 rigs and 52 ships over the next decade, the company said.
Initial production and service operations are expected to commence in 2019, with the facility reaching its full operational capacity by 2022. This initiative will contribute towards localizing expertise related to the maritime industry and job creation in Saudi Arabia.