The MOU follows discussions on strategic collaboration that were initiated when Saudi Aramco's Board of Directors visited HHI's Ulsan, South Korea, complex in April 2015.
Mr. Chung, who represented HHI for all relations with Saudi Arabia and Saudi Aramco, led the efforts that culminated with a signing ceremony presided over by Saudi Aramco President and CEO Mr. Amin H. Nasser at Saudi Aramco's Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, headquarters.
According to Mr. Chung, the partnership is "a great opportunity to enhance Korea's shipbuilding and EPC businesses" and continues a contribution to the Kingdom by HHI that goes back to the 1970s when it was awarded a contract to undertake development of the Jubail port (King Fahd industrial port) project.
"This signing is significant as it provides the potential for the creation of another Jubail that creates tremendous growth opportunities for HHI," said Mr. Chung.
Saudi Aramco has been looking to develop a yard at Ras Al-Khair, 60 km north of Jubail, in coordination with the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) and HHI as potential partners.
The yard would leverage the partners' offshore business to accelerate localization efforts of Saudi Arabia's young and promising maritime industry, and its associated supply chain. HHI's role would include winning shipbuilding vessels while participating in construction and operation of the shipyard and gaining opportunities to provide various value added services.
The project would enable the partners to cater to growing Middle East vessel demand and to build vessel types that it is no longer profitable to build in Korean shipyards.
Also being eyed is a future engine building joint venture that would allow the HHI-developed HiMSEN engine to expand its share of both the marine and power plant sectors in the region.
Another strategic partnership under development relates to HHI's Middle East EPC business, seen as the seed for a joint cooperation through which a regional EPC champion could be created.