Photo: Zone D of International Maritime industries’ yard, dedicated to offshore rig, lift boats/barges new build; Source: International Maritime Industries (IMI)

Saudi yard teams up with Keppel LeTourneau to design and build rigs

End-to-end rig solutions provider Keppel LeTourneau Middle East (KLET), a subsidiary of Keppel O&M, has joined forces with the largest maritime yard in the MENA region, International Maritime Industries (IMI), to help it in strengthening its rig building capabilities in a push to enhance and accelerate the development of Saudi Arabian maritime industry.

International Maritime Industries informed on Friday, 27 May 2022, that it had signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Keppel LeTourneau Middle East to collaborate on the design and construction of Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODUs).

Dr. Abdullah Al Ahmari, CEO of IMI, remarked: “We are pleased to have signed this LOI with KLET, a leading rig design company that will strengthen our rig building capabilities and support our efforts to build an advanced maritime facility that will drive the development of the maritime industry in Saudi Arabia. The partnership enables us to leverage KLET’s unique capabilities and expertise, thereby enhancing our offering to both our partners and customers.”

Under the terms of this deal, the rig designer will provide engineering and construction support as well as rig components to IMI through Kit Construction & License Agreements (KCLA), which will be inked on a per-rig basis.

The Saudi yard further explained that the engineering support includes the development of a rig-specific design kit containing engineering drawings and plans, as well as technical guides for IMI to reference when building MODUs. In addition, Keppel LeTourneau will provide the engineering license and certain components for each new build rig under the KCLA.

Ron MacInnes, President of KLET, commented: “We are pleased to support IMI by providing rig designs that not only meet the drilling demands of today’s market, but also the future, through design and system optimization. This leverages Keppel LeTourneau’s expertise in rig design and kit manufacturing, as well as its experience in aftermarket and aftersales services. We have been actively contributing to the offshore and marine industry in Saudi Arabia, with over 20 rigs in the country built to Keppel LeTourneau’s proprietary designs.”

Moreover, both players intend to explore the development and application of new technologies, such as digitalization, energy storage, and decarbonization, to further optimize rig designs. Additionally, Keppel LeTourneau will assist the Saudi yard in the development and training of its workforce during the MODU detailed design engineering phase, which will be led by IMI’s engineers at its shipyard in Ras Al Khair, Saudi Arabia.  

When it comes to the latest activities related to this Saudi shipyard – a joint venture between industry partners Saudi Aramco, Bahri, Lamprell, and HHI – it is worth noting that Lamprell announced earlier this month the completion of the load-out and float-off of the first jack-up drilling unit being constructed for IMI, which were formally ordered in January 2020 following a letter of intent from December 2018.

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The UAE-based offshore contractor also explained that this rig would undergo intensive mechanical completion and commissioning before being transferred to IMI’s yard in Ras Al Khair for final commissioning before being deployed locally.