Saipem has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Saudi Aramco, paving the way for a new national champion.
The agreement could lead to the creation, in partnership with local entities, of what Saipem calls an “EPC National Champion” capable of executing the full range of Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) project activities in-Kingdom, while also maximising the employment of local resources.
The project would be in line with Aramco’s Nama’at programme. This is focused on building capacity in four sectors: sustainability, technology, industrial and advanced materials.
Aramco announced an expansion of its Nama’at programme earlier this month. It signed 22 MoUs and one joint venture agreement.
The programme “offers our partners significant opportunities to participate in Aramco’s long-term growth strategy and play a vital role in the Kingdom’s expanding energy and chemicals supply chain,” said Aramco president and CEO Amin Nasser.
The company’s senior vice president of technical services, Ahmed Al-Sa’adi, said the Nama’at programme would secure “world-class partners”. These companies “share our goal of continuous industrial development. These partnerships illustrate Saudi Arabia’s significant appeal to international companies and pave the way for new innovations in materials, processes and solutions.”
Saudi and various other states in the Middle East are pushing to increase the value of work done domestically. Striking deals with foreign companies is an attractive way of doing this.
For instance, Helmerich & Payne agreed to buy into Adnoc Drilling’s planned IPO this month. In exchange, it will provide eight land rigs in addition to expertise.