Aramco signs agreements aimed at expansion

Saudi Aramco has entered agreements aimed at expanding into offshore construction in Saudi Arabia.

The expansion follows plans announced by Saudi officials in April to make Aramco an industrial conglomerate in a program of sweeping economic reform called Saudi Vision 2030 (OGJ Online, Apr. 25, 2016).

Aramco signed a joint development agreement with National Shipping Co. of Saudi Arabia (Bahri), Lamprell of Dubai, and Hyundai Heavy Industries for a maritime yard in eastern Saudi Arabia to provide engineering, manufacturing, and repair services for offshore rigs, commercial vessels, and offshore support vessels.

The companies signed a memorandum of understanding for the project in January and have been conducting due diligence and feasibility studies. The plant would be at Ras Al Khair.

Under the JDA they’ll work on financing, construction, operation, and ownership issues and begin negotiations of definitive agreements before making a final investment decision.

Separately, Aramco signed a memorandum of understanding with GE and Cividale SPA of Italy to build a forging and casting manufacturing plant for maritime and energy industries in the Middle East and North Africa. Like the maritime plant, the facility would be at Ras Al Khair.

Joint investment would be more than $400 million.

Aramco also is working with partners to develop an onshore rig manufacturing facility, an engine manufacturing project, and an energy industrial city to accelerate manufacturing industries serving the oil and gas business.

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