International Maritime Industries (IMI), the largest maritime yard in the MENA region, has signed a joint venture agreement with Zamil Offshore to deliver world-class Offshore Support Vessel (OSV) building and maintenance, repair and overhaul services (MRO) in Saudi Arabia.
The long-term agreement signed with Zamil, one of the Middle East’s largest shipyards and owners, operating a fleet of over 60 diversified vessels in Saudi Arabia, aims to enhance IMI’s localisation efforts in the kingdom and boost its lifecycle support services, said a statement.
It is expected the joint venture will lay the foundation for the establishment of a local, cost-efficient operation where all OSV shipbuilding activities occur in the kingdom, while supporting the development of an advanced and sustainable Saudi maritime industry, in line with the goals of Vision 2030.
IMI is focused on the development of its employees as it aims to help train the next generation of Saudi maritime leaders. Under the agreement, IMI employees will be directly integrated into project teams and be able to learn from specialist naval architects and marine engineers at Zamil Offshore’s facility.
The agreement was signed during a ceremony in Dhahran by Fathi Al Saleem, President and CEO of IMI, and Sufyan Al Zamil, CEO of Zamil Offshore. It was also attended by Amin Nasser, CEO and President of Saudi Aramco; Ahmed Al Saadi, Chairman of the Board of IMI; Khalid Al Zamil, Chairman of Zamil Group; and executives from IMI and Zamil Offshore.
Al Saadi said: “We are proud to sign this agreement with our partner Zamil Offshore, which supports IMI’s mandate to help develop the Saudi maritime industry. Through this partnership we look forward to offering customers a highly responsive localised supply chain that reduces risk, lowers costs, speeds up response and build time, and increases customers’ competitive positions.
"At IMI, we are focused on building strategic partnerships with local companies that enhance our ability to deliver leading products and services. This signing marks a significant milestone for IMI and its ability to produce and service offshore support vessels here in the Kingdom.”
Al Zamil said: “We are very honoured to sign this agreement with our partner IMI today. With IMI’s global expertise and top-class facilities at Ras Al khair and Zamil’s proven track record in shipbuilding and repair, we are confident that our joint venture will not only address the needs of the local market, but also go beyond that and compete in the regional and international arena. With this partnership, we look forward to working together to achieve the Kingdom’s ambitious vision for this important industry.”
The partnership will combine IMI’s state-of-the-art facilities with Zamil Offshore’s knowledge and expertise. With the support of IMI’s founding partners Saudi Aramco, Lamprell, and HHI, the joint venture aims to be one of the world’s most competitive OSV builders and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) service providers.
OSVs will first be built at Zamil Offshore’s facility in Saudi Arabia, with construction activities moving to Zone B of IMI’s full-service yard in Ras Al Khair once it becomes operational in 2022.
IMI’s localisation efforts are focused on the procurement of materials and services used in rig and vessel production, as well as MRO practices. The company intends to form more long-term partnerships with suppliers that are committed to supporting the localization of the maritime industry in Saudi Arabia, the statement said.