Italian firm Saipem has signed an agreement with construction company Nasser S. Al Hajri Corporation (NSH) and Aramco to launch a new entity in Saudi Arabia.

To be called EPC National Champion, the venture will focus on executing onshore engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) projects in Saudi Arabia.

The new entity is expected to be incorporated by NSH and Saipem in Saudi Arabia by the end of 2022.

The initiative follows the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the entities under Aramco’s Namaat Investment Industrial Programme in 2021.

The programme aims to create a ‘robust’ industrial ecosystem and increase the participation of local resources in projects.

Saipem said in a statement: “The establishment of the EPC National Champion, through the combination of Saipem’s engineering and project management skills with NSH’s construction skills, would represent the chance to improve Saipem’s effective presence in Saudi Arabia’s growing market.”

Saipem said it has a “long-running collaboration” with Aramco in implementing activities ranging from onshore and offshore engineering and construction, to drilling activities, with onshore and offshore rigs.

The Italian oilfield services company also worked previously with NSH for the execution of EPC projects in the country.

In June 2022, Saipem signed a $550m deal to divest its onshore drilling business to UK-based drilling company KCA Deutag (KCAD).

Saipem will also receive a stake of 10% in KCAD, which operates approximately 110 rigs in 20 countries.