Construction work has commenced on a new non-metallics production facility which is being jointly developed by Saudi Aramco and Baker Hughes at King Salman Energy Park (Spark).

Initially, the facility will produce onshore non-metallic pipelines – including reinforced thermoplastic pipes (RTP) – from composite materials.

Aramco and Baker Hughes have formed Novel, a 50/50 joint venture (JV) to develop and commercialise a broad range of non-metallic products for multiple applications in the energy sector, in July 2019.

A ceremony was held last month at the project site to commence construction, which was attended by Aramco’s Senior Vice President for Technical Services Ahmad Al Sa’adi and Baker Hughes Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Simonelli.

The joint venture is based on a shareholders agreement signed in February last year during Aramco’s fifth In-Kingdom Total Value Add (IKTVA) Forum & Exhibition. The JV aligns with Aramco’s strategy to seek new opportunities in oil-based products, which not only offer performance benefits but also aim to reduce carbon emissions. It also supports Saudi Arabia’s efforts to expand its commercial ecosystem and promote domestic investment. The new facility will create jobs and will also help foster growth of an emerging and innovative sector in alignment with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. 

Al Sa’adi says: “Non-metallic products are reshaping the industries and products we all depend on because they are more reliable, cost effective and offer sustainability benefits. The partnership with Baker Hughes reinforces our commitment to expanding the use of innovative non-metallic materials in our operations to drive efficiency and reduce maintenance and replacement costs, while also positively impacting the kingdom’s economic development through job creation and local expertise.”

Neil Saunders, Executive Vice President, Oilfield Equipment, Baker Hughes, says: “As an energy technology company, we are investing for growth in strategic areas like non-metallics, and our deep background in non-metallic product development will benefit a wide range of industries. Aramco’s vision to expand its product development in the region aligns with our vision to support innovation and manufacturing in Saudi Arabia.”

Non-metallic products are being deployed in a variety of industries, from the oil and gas sector to automotive, building and construction, packaging and renewables. In addition to being more sustainable, these advanced materials make them lighter than their conventional counterparts and resistant to corrosion.