Saudi Aramco has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with GE and Italy’s Cividale to build a new forging and casting manufacturing facility in Ras Al-Khair, Saudi Arabia, to serve the maritime and energy industries.

The new facility will involve a joint investment of more than SAR1.5bn ($400m).

Saudi Aramco senior vice-president of finance, strategy and development Abdallah Al-Saadan said: "The MoU reflects our ambition to create a robust supply chain that builds positive synergies in the oil and gas manufacturing sector.

"This builds on our deep commitment to support the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 to promote economic and industrial diversification in the Kingdom and boost localised manufacturing."

Set to be operational in 2020, the facility will complement Saudi Aramco’s plans to develop various industrial projects in Saudi Arabia, including a maritime project that focuses on building, maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of offshore platforms, jack-ups, offshore service vessels and commercial tankers.

"The MoU reflects our ambition to create a robust supply chain that builds positive synergies in the oil and gas manufacturing sector."

The plant is expected to create 2,000 jobs and will serve all projects, as well as providing services and technologies to downstream and other industries across the region and global markets.

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The MoU follows a partnership between Saudi Aramco and Cividale to conduct feasibility studies for forging and casting manufacturing services in Saudi Arabia.

In addition, Saudi Aramco is collaborating with its partners to develop an onshore rig manufacturing facility for providing new build and MRO services to onshore rigs and systems.

Other projects of this partnership will include an engine manufacturing project, manufacturing and repair of marine pumps; and an energy industrial city to improve manufacturing industries in the oil and gas sector.

GE Oil & Gas Middle East, North Africa and Turkey president and CEO Rami Qasem said: "For the forging and casting manufacturing facility, we will leverage our already strong expertise in ‘Made in Saudi’ manufacturing."

Image: Saudi Aramco signs MoU with GE and Cividale to build forging and casting facility in Saudi Arabia. Photo: courtesy of General Electric.