Lamprell says Saudi IMI shipyard involvement was too great an opportunity to miss
UAE-based oil rig construction and maintenance firm Lamprell says that the International Maritime Industries (IMI) shipyard being established in Saudi Arabia is a ‘transformational’ project, and an opportunity too big to pass up.
The nearly 12 million square-meter facility will build offshore oil and gas rigs, offshore support vessels and commercial vessels, including Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs). The yard has an annual capacity to manufacture four offshore rigs, over 40 vessels including three VLCCs, and service over 260 maritime products.
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Partners in the joint venture are all leaders in their field: Saudi Aramco (51.1%) is the world’s largest energy company. Bahri, with 19.9% controls the largest VLCC fleet. Lamprell (20%) is the region’s leading rig builder and Hyundai Heavy Industries (10%) builds more ships than any other shipyard group.
The newly established International Marine Industries (IMI) will operate the shipyard complex at Ras Al-Khair Industrial City in Saudi Arabia.
“This yard will be transformational because it will give us the ability to compete with other major shipyards in the region for rig build work,” says Tony Wright, deputy chief financial officer, Lamprell. “Saudi Aramco and Bahri will be major clients of the shipyard, but IMI has been designed to be competitive on the world stage and so it will be taking global orders as well.”
Asked whether there was any risk of the new shipyard taking business away from Lamprell in the UAE, he said the risk was negligible. “The way we see is it that the amount of money that Saudi Aramco will spend on new rigs and refitting existing rigs will create huge demand. They’re saying they’re going to spend US $414-billion in the next ten years,” he says.
“This is a transformational project,” he adds. “Yes, it carries risk, as does any major investment, but the risk of not being involved far outweighs them.”
Lamprell plc, based in the United Arab Emirates specialises in the oil rig construction business. It builds shallow-water drilling jackup rigs, liftboats, land rigs and carries out rig refurbishment.