Saudi Arabia will soon be able to build VLCCs on home soil. Saudi owner Bahri has signed an MOU with International Maritime Industries (IMI) and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) that will see it place new orders to build new VLCCs tankers at the yard.
International Maritime Industries is a new shipbuilding joint venture between Saudi Aramco, Bahri, Lamprell, and Hyundai Heavy Industries which is scheduled to open in 2020 and be fully operational by 2022. Currently all VLCCs built in the world come from just three countries – China, South Korea and Japan hence the importance of the news from Saudi Arabia.
Bahri said it will issue IMI with its first order by the end of next month, but did not reveal how many vessels will make up the order.
Abdullah Aldubaikhi, CEO of Bahri, commented: “Committed to playing a pivotal role in the transformation of the Kingdom into an important regional and global logistics and transportation hub, Bahri has been exploring new horizons for industry cooperation to take its vision forward. This agreement, which further strengthens our strong strategic relationship with IMI and HHI, signifies a major development in this direction, and we are confident it will provide a boost to our ongoing efforts aimed at enhancing our offerings and bolstering our capabilities. We look forward to a fruitful collaboration that will immensely benefit our customers and shareholders.”
IMI will have a capacity to build four offshore rigs, over 40 vessels including three VLCCs on an annual basis when it reaches full production capacity.
Bahri currently has a fleet 92 vessels including 45 VLCCs.