Saudi Aramco is firming up its plans for a giant shipyard at Ras Al-Khair, Saudi Arabia, and has hired Saudi Archirodon Co. and Huta Hegerfeld to complete the project's dredging, reclamation and marine structures. Archirodon has its origins in Greece and has had a strong presence in the Middle East for decades; Jeddah-based Huta Hegerfeld has extensive experience in Saudi marine construction and infrastructure projects.
The scope of work includes reclamation of 1.3 billion cubic feet of fill; ground improvements covering 1,800 acres; 2.8 miles of quays; and 7.5 miles of breakwaters and revetments. The first phase is scheduled for completion in 2020.
The aim of the project is to develop a local maritime supply chain and to bring Saudi Arabia's shipbuilding business back home – a means of diversifying the oil-rich nation's economy. In keeping with the goal of Saudi economic development, Aramco has an 80 percent target for the "Saudization" of the facility's management. Hyundai Heavy Industries and Lamprell will be involved in the design and construction of the shipyard facilities.
When complete, the massive "King Salman International Complex for Maritime Industries and Services" will have four sections. The first, focused on repair, will have the capacity to handle 15 rigs and 130 ships per year, Saudi Aramco says, including VLCCs. The second section – focused on OSVs – will be able to build 25 offshore vessels and repair 115 more per year. The third and largest will have VLCC-sized dry docks, and will be able to build three VLCCs per year (plus about a dozen other ships). The last zone will be for rigs, and Aramco says that it will be able to build up to four per year, plus 11 fixed offshore platforms. The shipbuilding complex will be near to other heavy industrial plants at Ras Al-Khair, including a phosphate and aluminum complex and one of the world's largest power generation / desalination plants.