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New Saudi shipyard’s first VLCC will be built in South Korea

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Threeway MoU on shipbuilding collaboration was signed by Bahri, IMI and HHI

Saudi Arabian tanker giant Bahri has committed to ordering a VLCC from a giant new shipyard being developed in the King Salman Complex for International Maritime Industries and Services at Ras Al-Khair. However, the ship won’t actually be built there.

The shipyard is being developed by International Maritime Industries (IMI), a joint venture between Saudi Aramco, Bahri, Lamprell, and Hyundai Heavy Industries.

Today, Bahri signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with International Maritime Industries (IMI) and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) to build new Very Large Crude-oil Carriers (VLCCs).

As part of the agreement, Bahri will issue IMI its first order before the end of next month.

However, once the order is placed IMI will engage HHI as a sub-contractor to build the vessel in South Korea. HHI, in turn, will help facilitate the transfer of knowledge enabling IMI to independently build VLCCs to international shipbuilding standards in Saudi Arabia.

Commenting on the MoU, Abdullah Aldubaikhi, CEO of Bahri, said: “Committed to playing a pivotal role in the transformation of the Kingdom into an important regional and global logistics and transportation hub, Bahri has been exploring new horizons for industry cooperation to take its vision forward. This agreement, which further strengthens our strong strategic relationship with IMI and HHI, signifies a major development in this direction, and we are confident it will provide a boost to our ongoing efforts aimed at enhancing our offerings and bolstering our capabilities. We look forward to a fruitful collaboration that will immensely benefit our customers and shareholders.”

On his part, Fathi K. Al-Saleem, CEO of IMI, said: “This agreement further strengthens the business relationship between IMI and its shareholders, as well as contributing to the development of a localized maritime industry supply chain infrastructure, technical expertise for Saudi nationals, and a track record in shipbuilding.”

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