Bahri signs VLCC order with IMI to promote indigenous shipbuilding in Saudi
Bahri has signed a Vessel Purchase Agreement (VPA) with International Maritime Industries (IMI) and a subsequent sub-contract agreement with its long-term partner Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) to build of a 319,000 DWT Very Large Crude-oil Carrier (VLCC) with delivery expected in October 2021.
Other agreements signed will ensure all parties pursue a series of long-term business activities, whether jointly or severally on the basis of a multilateral relationship.
The VPA builds on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Bahri, IMI, and HHI in June this year.
The MoU stipulated that Bahri will issue IMI its first VLCC order before the end of July 2019, with IMI engaging HHI as a sub-contractor to build the VLCC at its world-class facility in Ulsan, South Korea.
“Our partnership with IMI and HHI represents a major step forward in the pursuit of our long-term goals, which will eventually translate into key milestones in the country’s transformation into an important regional and global logistics and transportation hub,” said Abdullah Aldubaikhi, CEO, Bahri.
“The collaboration is also aimed at furthering our contribution to the development of the Kingdom’s own indigenous shipbuilding industry. We will benefit from the transfer of technology and knowledge to develop, increase, and promote local content and create suitable job opportunities for our citizens in line with the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030,” he added.
Fathi K. Al-Saleem, CEO, IMI said the sub-contract award provides many benefits for the shipyard, including the transfer of knowledge from HHI to IMI, a mechanism to grant the permission for the use of Intellectual Property (IP) to IMI, development plans for IMI employees to acquire new skills in shipbuilding and planning, as well as technical assistance.
“This project will also contribute to the long-term growth of this new industry in Saudi Arabia and will enable IMI to independently build VLCCs in Saudi Arabia to the highest international shipbuilding standards,” he added.
IMI, a joint venture between Saudi Aramco, Bahri, Lamprell, and HHI, is located at the King Salman Complex for International Maritime Industries and Services in Ras Al-Khair, Saudi Arabia.
When complete, the shipyard will be the largest, full-service maritime facility in MENA and will have the capacity to manufacture annually four newbuild offshore rigs and over 43 newbuild vessels including VLCCs, in addition to servicing more than 260 maritime products.
Major production operations are expected to commence toward the end of 2020 with the facility reaching its full production capacity by 2022.