New Saudi shipyard to be built in South Korea

The development of a new shipyard at the King Salman Complex was announced in January 2016 with the signing of an MoU between Aramco, HHI, Bahri and Lamprell. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 04 July 2019
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New Saudi shipyard to be built in South Korea

  • Order follows latest MoU signed between the two countries for crude oil carriers

SEOUL, South Korea: Saudi Arabian tanker giant Bahri is set to order very large crude oil carriers (VLCCs) from a large-scale shipyard being developed in the King Salman Complex by International Maritime Industries (IMI) at Ras Al-Khair, with the vessels being built at the dockyard of Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in South Korea.

The order is a follow-up to the latest memorandum of understanding (MoU) for VLCCs, which was signed by Bahri, formerly known as the National Shipping Co. of Saudi Arabia, IMI and HHI during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s landmark visit to South Korea on June 26-27.

IMI is a joint venture between Saudi Aramco, Bahri, HHI, and Lamprell, an oil rig construction firm based in the UAE. HHI has agreed to increase its equity share in IMI from 10 to 20 percent, with an MoU between HHI and IMI to explore business opportunities in shipbuilding.

“Once Bahri places its order for the VLCCs, HHI will serve as a subcontractor by building the vessel at its yard in Ulsan, South Korea,” HHI told Arab News on Sunday.

“Among the partners of the IMI joint venture, HHI is the only partner capable of building a shipyard and providing the knowledge of building ships in line with international standards.”

FASTFACTS

 

• Bahri is expected to issue IMI its first order before the end of next month.

 

• The shipyard is to be completed by 2021 with an investment of about $4.3 billion.

The official said Bahri is expected to issue IMI its first order before the end of next month.

“HHI will help facilitate the transfer of knowledge and technology to enable IMI to eventually build VLCCs in Saudi Arabia,” he added.

Abdullah Al-Dubaikhi, CEO of Bahri, said: “Committed to playing a pivotal role in the transformation of the Kingdom into an important regional and global logistics and transportation hub, Bahri has been exploring new horizons for industry cooperation to take its vision forward.”

The latest agreement would strengthen its strategic relationship with IMI and HHI further, he added.

Fathi K. Al-Saleem, CEO of IMI, said: “This agreement further strengthens the business relationship between IMI and its shareholders, as well as contributing to the development of a localized maritime industry.”

IMI, one of the largest facilities in the Middle East and North Africa, can manufacture four offshore rigs, more than 40 vessels, including three VLCCs, and service over 260 maritime products per year.

During the crown prince’s visit to South Korea, Saudi Aramco and its affiliates signed multiple agreements with major South Korean conglomerates, including HHI, on new business opportunities to expand international operations.

The agreements, estimated to be worth some $8.3 billion, cover a wide range of industrial sectors including shipbuilding, refining, petrochemicals, as well as crude supply, sales and storage.

 The development of a new shipyard at the King Salman Complex was announced in January 2016 with the signing of an MoU between Aramco, HHI, Bahri and Lamprell.

The shipyard is to be completed by 2021 with an investment of about $4.3 billion.


Huawei in public test as it unveils sanction-hit phone

Updated 19 September 2019

Huawei in public test as it unveils sanction-hit phone

  • Hit by US sanctions, Huawei's Mate 30 will not be allowed to use Google’s Play Store
  • Household-name services like WhatsApp, Instagram and Google Maps will be unavailable.
BERLIN: Chinese tech giant Huawei launches its latest high-end smartphone in Munich on Thursday, the first that could be void of popular Google apps because of US sanctions.
Observers are asking whether a phone without the Silicon Valley software that users have come to depend on can succeed, or whether Huawei will have found a way for buyers to install popular apps despite the constraints.
The company has maintained a veil of secrecy over its plans, set to be dropped at a 1200 GMT press conference revealing the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro models.
Huawei, targeted directly by the United States as part of a broader trade conflict with Beijing, was added to a “blacklist” in Washington in May.
Since then, it has been illegal for American firms to do business with the Chinese firm, suspected of espionage by President Donald Trump and his administration.
As a result, the new Mate will run on a freely available version of Android, the world’s most-used phone operating system that is owned by the search engine heavyweight.
While Mate 30 owners will experience little difference in the use of the system, the lack of Google’s Play Store — which provides access to hundreds of thousands of third-party apps and games as well as films, books and music — could hobble them.
Household-name services like WhatsApp, Instagram and Google Maps will be unavailable.
The tech press reports that this yawning gap in functionality has left some sellers reluctant to stock the new phones, fearing a wave of rapid-fire returns from dissatisfied customers.
Huawei president Richard Yu said at Berlin’s IFA electronics fair this month that his engineers found a “very simple” way to install the hottest apps without going via the Play Store.
Huawei could offer its own app store in a preliminary version, setting itself up as a competitor to the dominant Apple and Google offerings, observers speculate.
Over the longer term, the company could build out a similar “ecosystem” of devices, apps and services as the Silicon Valley companies that would bind users more closely to it.
The world’s second-largest smartphone maker after Samsung, Huawei earlier this month presented its proprietary operating system HarmonyOS, a potential replacement for Android.
The Mate 30 will not yet have HarmonyOS installed.
But it could make for a new round in the decades-old “OS wars” between Microsoft’s Windows and Apple’s Mac OS, then Android versus Apple’s iOS.
Meanwhile, Eric Xu, current holder of Huawei’s rotating chief executive chair, has urged Europe to foster an alternative to Google and Apple.
That could provide an opening for Huawei to build up Europe’s market of 500 million well-off consumers as a stronghold against American rivals.
“If Europe had its own ecosystem for smart devices, Huawei would use it... that would resolve the problem of European digital dependency” on the United States, Xu told German business daily Handelsblatt.
He added that his company would be prepared to invest in developing such joint European-Chinese projects.