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Lamprell sees planned Saudi yard jv as a 'game changer'

Lamprell sees planned Saudi yard jv as a 'game changer'
Out-going Lamprell chief Jim Moffat trumpeted a founding stake in a joint venture investigating a massive shipyard in Saudi Arabia as a potential “game changer” for the group. 

Flagging up a need to diversify away from the beleaguered jack-up rig newbuilding market at the UAE rigbuilder’s half year results Moffat signalled an agreement signed in March with Dubai Drydocks to explore joint FPSO opportunities as an example of a necessary future proofing diversification strategy. 

However, this pales in comparison to the jv with Saudi Aramco, National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) to develop a shipyard at Ras Al Khair in eastern Saudi which could have a “transformational impact” on Lamprell’s future.

The yard made “a lot of sense” for Saudi Aramco and Bahri in the context of the Kingdom’s 2030 vision and could create 50,000 jobs at peak capacity, Moffat said.

“While I can’t disclose too many details, there will be huge fabrication facilities, massive rig and ship building. We’re talking on a world scale…I see it as a very exciting opportunity. It could well be a step change for the group,” he said.