Aramco last month announced a major expansion of its industrial investment programme, Aramco Namaat, with the signing of 22 new memoranda of understanding (MoUs) and one joint venture agreement focused on capacity building in four key sectors: sustainability, technology, industrial and energy services, and advanced materials.
Namaat means (collective) growth in Arabic and the programme aims to tap into the vast opportunities available in Saudi Arabia to create new value, and drive economic expansion and diversification, said Aramco.
The new MoUs will give a considerable boost to the construction sector, involving both the setting up of facilities as well as of manufacturing and fabrication units and construction services that will cater to the requirements of the sector.
Among the key construction-related MoUs signed were with:
• AIC Steel, GSW, McDermott, Seyang and Sendan, and Narmel – five separate MoUs on modular construction;
• Samsung Engineering, Hyundai and Saipem – three separate MoUs on engineering, procurement and construction (EPC);
• Armorock – to validate the feasibility of developing and using non-metallic polymer concrete applications in the building and construction sector;
• Baoshan Iron & Steel Company (Baosteel) - to conduct an engineering study and develop plans needed to build, own and operate an integrated steel plate manufacturing facility in Saudi Arabia; and
• Gulf Modular Industry (GMI) – to validate the feasibility of developing and using non-metallic applications in the modular building manufacturing process in the building and construction sector.
In addition, as a result of Aramco’s continuous support of the industrial ecosystem, a JV agreement between SeAH and Dussur to localise stainless steel seamless tube and pipe manufacturing has materialised.
Saipem, a leading engineering, drilling and construction company, said it has signed the MoU with Aramco for exploring the possibility of setting up a new entity in the kingdom that will execute a range of engineering and construction activities in the industrial sector. An Italian multinational oilfield services company, Saipem offers an advanced technological and engineering platform for the design, construction and operation of complex, safe and sustainable infrastructures and plants.
The agreement entails the potential creation, in partnership with local entities, of an ‘EPC national champion’ capable of executing, in-kingdom, the full range of EPC project activities, while maximising the employment of local resources, according to Saipem.
Meanwhile, Baosteel, China’s biggest listed steelmaker, said initial agreement with Aramco was to study the setting up of an integrated steel plate manufacturing facility in Saudi Arabia. As per the pact, the duo will establish a guiding committee to jointly conduct feasibility studies on the project’s business plan, implementation and joint venture formation, said Baosteel in its filing to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
The new venture will focus on production of high-end thick plate products, it added.
Aramco President and CEO, Amin H. Nasser, said: “Namaat offers our partners significant opportunities to participate in Aramco’s long-term growth strategy and play a vital role in the kingdom’s expanding energy and chemicals supply chain. The benefits for everyone involved are multiple as well as mutual and I am proud that Aramco continues to be a catalyst at the heart of the kingdom’s transformation, harnessing its expertise and resources to champion new markets and growth sectors. We believe these exciting target sectors offer significant opportunities for all the current and prospective parties involved.”
The other new MoUs signed under the Namaat programme include:
• Solvay – to pursue the development of advanced non-metallic materials and localisation of a composite value chain;
• DHL Supply Chain – to evaluate the feasibility of establishing a local industrial logistics and procurement hub serving Saudi Arabia and Mena region;
• Veolia – to confirm the commercial feasibility of establishing a world-class integrated waste management company, alongside a strategic IK stakeholder;
• Air Liquide, Haliburton and PIF; Baker Hughes and PIF; Linde, Schlumberger and PIF – three separate non-binding MoUs to evaluate carbon capture & sequestration (CCS) opportunities and potential partnerships;
• Elion and Green Groves – two separate MoUs to evaluate the feasibility of localising nature-based solutions;
• Shell AMG Recycling & United Company for Industry – a trilateral MoU on metals reclamation and catalyst manufacturing;
• Honeywell – to establish a joint venture that will develop and implement next-generation digital solutions that will improve efficiency, sustainability and enable operational excellence of industrial facilities; and
• Aveva – to establish a strategic alliance to localise development and deployment of various digital technologies including Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Digital Twin.
The 22 new MoUs build on others first unveiled in November 2020, which included collaborations with Shell and AMG Recycling, and Suzhou XDM 3D Printing Company, focusing on new business development in metal reclamation and commercial opportunities in industrial 3D printing, respectively.