DHAHRAN, Saudi Arabia Nov 27 Saudi Arabia
expects a huge ship repair and shipbuilding complex that its
national oil company Saudi Aramco is developing at Ras al-Khair
on the kingdom's east coast to cost over 20 billion riyals
($5.33 billion), energy minister Khalid al-Falih said on Sunday.
"Construction will start in 2018, production in 2022," Falih
who is also chairman of Aramco told reporters at the company's
headquarters in Dhahran.
The government will finance the infrastructure of the
complex such as dredging and other work as it did with other
cities Jubail and Yanbu that have become major industrial hubs.
Ras al-Khair is itself turning into a major mining hub where
Ma'aden has built an aluminium complex and phosphate facilities.
The maritime complex is a joint venture between Saudi
Aramco, Saudi Bahri, South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries
The project will help generate thousands of direct and
indirect jobs, a key part of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030, an
economic reform programme the government announced this year, in
which Aramco is to play a big role in developing industrial
projects as Saudi Arabia tries to diversify its economy beyond
reliance on oil exports.
Falih said other partnerships will be forged such as with
U.S. Mcdermott company which will make offshore platforms.
He was speaking to journalists to brief them on the
inauguration by King Salman of oil and gas and industrial
projects and a cultural centre. Those projects cost around 160
billion riyals, he said.
He said the Sadara joint venture between Aramco and Dow
Chemical alone cost as much as 80 billion riyals.
Among the projects that Saudi Aramco has completed are the
Khurais oilfield which has a production capacity of 1.2 million
bpd, Shaybah whose production has reached 1 million bpd after
recently completing an expansion and Manifa's 900,000 bpd.
Aramco is working on expanding capacity at Khurais to 1.5
million bpd, seen on stream in 2018.
"The production capacity of oil projects that the King will
inaugurate exceeds or is around 3 million barrels per day."
Saudi Arabia's maximum sustainable production capacity
stands at 12.5 million bpd, Falih reiterated as the additional
capacity was just replacements for mature oilfields.
(Reporting by Reem Shamseddine, editing by David Evans)