Gulf energy ambitions boost global shipbuilding, says MEED

Middle East Meed portSaudi Arabia’s maritime needs are set to grow considerably as the kingdom prepares to boost its global oil market share and become a net exporter of natural gas, according to MEED, part of GlobalData

With regional national oil companies (NOCs) looking to consolidate their oil and gas market share, their long-term need for transport vessels has grown exponentially. This spurt in demand has in turn led Gulf NOCs to make significant shipping investments, providing key impetus to the maritime industry.

Saudi Aramco is leading a joint venture of international shipbuilding and offshore energy firms to build the world-class King Salman International Complex for Maritime Industries and Services in Ras al-Khair, located in the kingdom’s Eastern Province.

Aramco holds the majority 50.1 per cent stake in IMI, with Saudi Arabia’s Bahri holding a 19.9 stake and international partners UAE/UK-based Lamprell and South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) – the world’s largest shipbuilder – holding stakes of 20 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively. These partners are understood to have invested US$5.2bn in building the Ras al-Khair scheme.

Indrajit Sen, oil and gas editor at MEED, commented, “Activities critical to Saudi Aramco’s operations, including shipbuilding, rig manufacturing and fabrication related to offshore drilling and shipping activities, are all expected to be carried out at the development.”

With an area of 11.4 million sq m, the King Salman complex will have the world’s largest ship lift; the world’s largest combined lift capability over a drydock, at 2,150 tonnes; and the largest total drydock area and quayside in the Middle East and North Africa region. The yard is designed to have the capacity to manufacture four offshore rigs and more than 40 vessels, including three very large crude carriers (VLCC), and to service more than 260 vessels annually.

Qatar Petroleum (QP) has launched a US$19bn liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessel building programme, supposedly the largest-ever campaign of its kind, as the state enterprise looks to reclaim and hold on to the top global LNG exporter position in the long term.

Sen added, “QP’s LNG production capacity is set to increase from 77.5mn tonnes a year currently to 126mn tomes a year in two phases by 2028, by virtue of its US$20bn-plus North Field Expansion (NFE) megaproject.”

“The state enterprise is therefore looking to reserve 60 per cent of the world’s LNG shipbuilding capacity to build more than 100 vessels, in order to be able to export the increased LNG production volumes from the NFE scheme.”

 

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