Saudi Aramco has entered a shareholder agreement with Lamprell, the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) for the formation of a joint venture (JV) to establish a new maritime yard in Ras Al-Khair, located near Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia.

The proposed JV will also be responsible for the yard's development and operation, and will respond to the increasing demand for maritime services in the region by providing competitive, safe, high-quality and on-time solutions to customers worldwide.

It will also receive support from Saudi Aramco’s offshore drilling and shipping activities, which will pave the way for cost optimisation, reduced response times and improved agility for Saudi Aramco and its affiliates.

"Saudi Aramco notes that the planned maritime yard will be the largest in the region in terms of production capacity and overall scale."

Saudi Aramco notes that the planned maritime yard will be the largest in the region in terms of production capacity and overall scale, and will create jobs opportunities in Saudi Arabia.

The integrated yard will offer a mix of products and services across the region and will help Saudi Aramco and its supply chain partners to meet their manufacturing, maintenance, repair and overhaul requirements for offshore oil and gas rigs, offshore support vessels, and commercial vessels, including very large crude carriers (VLCC).

It will be able to manufacture four offshore rigs, more than 260 maritime products and 40 vessels annually once completed, including three VLCCs.

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The facility is scheduled to begin major production operations in 2019 and reach full production capacity by 2022.