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

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.


France ready to take Trump’s tariff threat to WTO

Updated 08 December 2019

France ready to take Trump’s tariff threat to WTO

  • Macron government will discuss a global digital tax with Washington at the OECD, says finance minister

PARIS: France is ready to go to the World Trade Organization to challenge US President Donald Trump’s threat to put tariffs on French goods in a row over a French tax on internet companies, its finance minister said on Sunday.

“We are ready to take this to an international court, notably the WTO, because the national tax on digital companies touches US companies in the same way as EU or French companies or Chinese. It is not discriminatory,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told France 3 television. Paris has long complained about US digital companies not paying enough tax on revenues earned in France.

In July, the French government decided to apply a 3 percent levy on revenue from digital services earned in France by firms with more than €25 million in French revenue and €750 million ($845 million) worldwide. It is due to kick in retroactively from the start of 2019.

Washington is threatening to retaliate with heavy duties on imports of French cheeses and luxury handbags, but France and the EU say they are ready to retaliate in turn if Trump carries out the threat. Le Maire said France was willing to discuss a global digital tax with the US at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), but that such a tax could not be optional for internet companies.

“If there is agreement at the OECD, all the better, then we will finally have a global digital tax. If there is no agreement at OECD level, we will restart talks at EU level,” Le Maire said.

He added that new EU Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni had already proposed to restart such talks.

France pushed ahead with its digital tax after EU member states, under the previous executive European Commission, failed to agree on a levy valid across the bloc after opposition from Ireland, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

The new European Commission assumed office on Dec. 1.