A giant new shipyard complex in Saudi Arabia will be fully operational by 2021. Amin Nasser, chief executive of Saudi Aramco, discussed the yard among other plans in a media briefing today.
The oil giant is developing the $4bn ship repair and shipbuilding complex at Ras El-Khair with partners Bahri, its own shipping line, and South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI). To be situated on the east coast of the kingdom, the complex will start operations in 2018 and be fully up to speed three years later. The yard will employ up to 80,000 people and be capable of building oil rigs and tankers.
Saudi Aramco has long held plans to develop a large yard on home soil. An earlier effort with South Korea’s STX Group fell on the rocks when STX ran into financial difficulties. Saudi Aramco also signed an MoU with Singapore’s Sembawang to develop a yard, but nothing materialised. With HHI enduring extreme financial difficulties in South Korea, it remains to be seen whether this latest incarnation of the Saudi yard plans will come to fruition.