An Asian engineering group has won a contract to construct a new shipbuilding complex which will require new tugs for ship handling.
Power Construction Corp of China (PowerChina) secured a contract to build the marine facilities of the King Salman International Complex. The shipyard will be built on the Middle East Gulf coast of Saudi Arabia and operated by International Maritime Industries (IMI) from 2020.
It will cover an area of 4.5 km by 2.5 km and will construct very large crude carriers (VLCCs), offshore drilling rigs, production platforms and other vessel types. There will also be shiprepair and offshore engineering facilities.
According to IMI chief operating officer Yi Seong Kang, the shipbuilding complex will be the largest full-service maritime facility in the Middle East and will compete with the largest shipyards in Asia for construction orders.
The shipyard operator IMI will require services from a fleet of tugs, which Mr Kang told Tug Technology & Business in June this year, would be owned by the Saudi Government’s port authority.
He said the shipyard will build these tugs, expected to be at least four, for the port authority and lease them when they are required. Tugs will need to be powerful enough to manoeuvre the VLCCs Bahri plans to build at the facility and maintain through their lifetime.
These tugs will also be expected to handle offshore drilling rigs as they are either brought into the facility or built there, and merchant ships of all sizes.
IMI is a joint venture owned 50.1% by Saudi Aramco, 19.9% by Saudi shipping group Bahri, 20% by drilling rig builder Lamprell and 10% by Hyundai Heavy Industries.