Aramco forms International Maritimes Industries JV with industry partners
Saudi Aramco and its partners; Lamprell Plc, the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri); and Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. (HHI), have launched an International Maritime Industries (IMI) joint venture.
When fully operational in 2022, this integrated maritime yard will be one of the largest full-service maritime facilities.
This new joint venture localises essential links for Saudi Aramco’s supply chain related to offshore drilling and shipping activities, which will lead to optimised cost, reduced response times and improved agility for Saudi Aramco and its affiliates.
The nearly 12mn square-meter facility will be the largest in the region in terms of production capacity and scale offering an unprecedented mix of products and services.
This scope enables Saudi Aramco and its supply chain partners to meet their manufacturing and MRO requirements for offshore oil and gas rigs, offshore support vessels, and commercial vessels, including Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCC). The yard has an annual capacity to manufacture four offshore rigs, over 40 vessels including three VLCCs, and service over 260 maritime products.
“By meeting Saudi Aramco’s offshore production and transport needs, International Maritime Industries will serve our strategic intent to become the world’s foremost integrated energy and chemicals company," said Abdallah I. Al-Saadan, Chairman of the JV’s Board of Managers and Saudi Aramco’s Senior Vice President of Finance, Strategy & Development.
"Its combination of technology, supply chain efficiencies and lifecycle partnership will create a world-class company that offers customers a keen competitive advantage."
He added: “What is unique about IMI is the powerful synergy of manufacturing and operational excellence delivered by four established global and regional entities in the energy and maritime industries. International Maritime Industries already has orders for more than 20 rigs and 52 ships over the next decade, demonstrating the trust of the JV partners in the Company’s ability to produce quality, bespoke ships and rigs in line with national and global environmental requirements. This enables building an integrated supply chain that is localised and highly responsive.”
The formal appointment of International Maritime Industries’ senior executives was announced, including Fathi K. Al-Saleem as CEO.
Al-Saleem has more than 23 years’ experience at Saudi Aramco and led the feasibility and commercial development stages of International Maritime Industries.
Initial production and service operations are expected to commence in 2019, with the facility reaching its full operational capacity by 2022. This initiative will contribute towards localising expertise related to the maritime industry and job creation in the Kingdom.
Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight
Elon Musk’s drilling outfit The Boring Company could be shifting its focus towards subterranean freight and logistics solutions, according to reports.
A Boring Co. pitch deck seen and shared by Bloomberg depicts plans to construct wider tunnels designed to accommodate shipping containers.
Founded by Tesla CEO Musk in 2016, the company initially stated its mission was to offer safer, faster point-to-point transport for people, particularly in cities plagued by traffic congestion. It also planned longer tunnels to ferry passengers between popular destinations across the US.
The Boring Co. completed its first commercial project earlier this year in April. The 1.7m tunnel system is designed to move professionals between convention centres in Las Vegas using Tesla EVs. It says the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop can cut travel time between venues from 45 minutes to just two.
Boring Co.'s new freight tunnels
The Boring Co.'s new tunnel designs would allow freight to be transported on purpose built platforms, labelled as “battery-powered freight carriers”. The document shows that, though the containers could technically fit within its current 12-foot tunnels, wider tunnels would be more efficient. Designs for a new tunnel, 21 feet in diameter, show that they can comfortably accommodate two containers side-by-side, with a one-foot gap between them.
The Boring Co.’s new drilling machine, dubbed Prufrock, can tunnel at a rate of one mile per week, which is six times faster than its previous machine, and is designed to ‘porpoise’ - mimicking the marine animal by ‘diving’ below ground and reemerging once the tunnel is complete.
Tesla’s supply chain woes
Tesla is facing its own supply chain and logistic issues. The EV manufacturer has raised the price of its vehicles, with CEO Musk confirming the incremental hike was a result of “major supply chain pressure”. Musk replied to a disgruntled Twitter user, confused as to why prices were rising while features were being removed from the cars, saying the “raw materials especially” were a big issue.
Car manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hit hardest by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. While China’s chip manufacturing levels hit an all-time high in May, and the US is proposing a 25% tax credit for chip manufacturers, demand still outstrips supply. Automakers including Volkswagen and Audi have again said they expect reduced vehicle output in the next quarter due to a lack of semiconductors, with more factory downtime likely.
Top Image credit: The Boring Company / @boringcompany