Set to be a key player in the Saudi offshore support vessel (OSV) market, the founders of jv the National Shipbuilding Industries Company (NISC) announced this week it had received its commercial registration.

The commercial registration follows International Maritime Industries (IMI) and Zamil Offshore signing a joint venture agreement to that end in November.

“Today, IMI and Zamil Offshore Services Company conducted the first board meeting of our new joint venture, National Shipbuilding Industries Company (NSIC), following its commercial registration,” IMI announced on social media on Tuesday. “Executives from both teams discussed best practices for NSIC and set the direction for the future.”

Zamil, one of the Middle East’s largest shipyards and owners, operating a fleet of over 60 diversified vessels in Saudi Arabia, seeks to enhance IMI’s localisation efforts in the Kingdom and boost its lifecycle support services.

IMI is keen to start work on OSV construction, as this stream of activity will be the least technically demanding as its yards find their feet. In time, the scope will expand to more complex commercial vessels such as chemical tankers, bulk carriers, VLCCs and offshore jack-up rigs, according to officials from Columbia Shipmanagement, who signed a collaboration agreement with IMI in February.

It is expected the jv 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,” IMI said in a press release issued last November to mark the announcement of the planned joint venture.

IMI has leveraged relationships with its own jv partners, Lamprell and Hyundai Heavy Industries, to help is growing workforce gain experience in the UAE, South Korea and elsewhere, on ship and rig building. Over 600 Saudis have benefitted from these various partnership programmes.

“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,” Zamil Offshore said. Zamil’s main build and repair facility is located in Dammam, while it also has west-coast operations at Jeddah Islamic Port.

Zamil started building OSVs in 2002, and to date has built well over 50 at its massive facility in Dammam. Its shipyard facilities in Dammam and Jeddah include ship lifts serving 18 dry berths, two floating docks and more than one kilometre of outfitting and repair space.

Source: Seatrade Maritime News