Saudi Aramco has signed new international technology deals, with local content playing a major role.
The company said it has signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with the Dutch Shell & AMG Recycling; four Chinese firms, Suzhou XDM, Shen Gong, Xinfoo and SUPCON; and South Korea’s Posco.
Aramco said the agreements marked a “significant milestone” in the in-Kingdom total value add (IKTVA) programme. This local content push has been running for five years as of December 1. Aramco’s local content index measured 35% at launch and has now reached 56%.
“Today’s announcement is a step change in Aramco’s pioneering IKTVA programme”, said Aramco’s president and CEO Amin Nasser. “Despite the uncertainties surrounding the global economy, we have sustained our focus on our long-term goals to enable growth and development for a thriving ecosystem and a more diversified Saudi economy.”
The partnerships will advance “innovation, sustainability and enhance the scale of reliability”, Nasser continued. “These partnerships will also have a strong focus on new technologies, by maximising our investments in non-metallic materials and the circular carbon economy, as well as the development of talented Saudis in communities where we operate.”
The company will work with POSCO on evaluating the feasibility of constructing an integrated steel plate manufacturing plant in Saudi Arabia.
The agreement with Suzhou XDM 3D Printing Company is on collaboration on industrial 3D printing technologies and development in Saudi Arabia.
SHEN GONG New Materials (Guang Zhou) is to focus on developing control systems technologies for LED lighting, energy management and intelligent control.
XINFOO Sensor Technology will work on opportunities in chip manufacturing and related technologies.
The Shell & AMG Recycling agreement focuses on potential collaboration on a regional hub for the recycling of gasification ash and reclamation of spent catalyst.
The last deal, with Zhejiang SUPCON Technology Co., will explore potential joint investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia for the services and manufacturing value chain, Aramco said.
The IKTVA programme demonstrates Aramco’s commitment to local businesses, the company’s senior vice president of technical services Ahmad Al-Saadi said. Investments under this programme “have promoted localisation, contributed to Aramco’s supply chain resilience and enhanced Saudi Arabia’s economic growth”.
The six MoUs will advance this, he said. “We intend to act as an enabler, supporting the growth of national champions. Today we are expanding our flagship programme, and expect more partnerships in the future.”