Chinese engineering firm wins Saudi shipyard construction contract
The Power Construction Corp of China (PowerChina) engineering group has won a contract to construct the new IMI shipbuilding complex in Saudi Arabia.
PowerChina secured the contract to build the marine facilities of the King Salman International Complex, which will be operated by International Maritime Industries (IMI) from 2020.
The work assigned to PowerChina will cover an area of 4.5 km by 2.5 km and will be intended for the building of very large crude carriers (VLCCs), offshore drilling rigs, production platforms and other vessel types.
There will also be shiprepair and offshore engineering facilities, such as jack-up rigs, which will be built by Lamprell.
See our video interview with Lamprell about the project:
The shipbuilding complex will be the largest full-service maritime facility in the Middle East and will compete with the largest shipyards in Asia for construction orders, says IMI chief operating officer Yi Seong Kang.
The shipyard operator IMI will require services from a fleet of tugs, which Kang says will be owned by the Saudi Government’s port authority and will be among the first vessels built by the shipard.
He said the shipyard will build at least four for the port authority and lease them when they are required.
The tugs will need to be powerful enough to manoeuvre the VLCCs Bahri plans to build at the facility and maintain through their lifetime.
These tugs will also be expected to handle offshore drilling rigs as they are either brought into the facility or built there, and merchant ships of all sizes.
IMI is a joint venture owned 50.1% by Saudi Aramco, 19.9% by Saudi shipping group Bahri, 20% by drilling rig builder Lamprell and 10% by Hyundai Heavy Industries.