US-based engineering and construction player McDermott International has broken ground on a key fabrication yard in Ras al-Khair, Saudi Arabia, in line with the country’s In-Kingdom Total Value Add (IKTVA) localisation programme.

McDermott said on Tuesday that the new facility will be spread across 1.2 million square meters and will be “capable of fabricating platforms and modules for both offshore and onshore projects for Saudi Aramco and other customers in the region".

Amin Nasser: Aramco's chief executive at IKTVA in 2018 Photo: SAUDI ARAMCO

“The facility will incorporate up to 80,000 square meters of covered shops to house the latest automation technology and will also include a 580-meter reinforced bulkhead providing marine access,” it added.

The fabrication yard will be located in the King Salman International Complex for Maritime Industries and Services in Ras al-Khair, which is likely to emerge as the kingdom's largest maritime facility.

McDermott is a key member of Saudi Aramco’s prestigious long term agreement (LTA) programme with international offshore contractors and is handling multiple offshore maintenance and greenfield projects within the kingdom.

The new fabrication yard is crucial to the company’s push for Saudi Arabia’s IKTVA programme, which aims to substantially increase the volume of local content in key onshore and offshore projects over the next decade.

Mohammad al Assaf, Aramco’s vice president of new business development said that with McDermott breaking ground at the new facility, Aramco has “moved a step closer to the complex acting as a hub for job creation and supply chain development in accordance with Saudi Vision 2030 objectives".

McDermott’s chief executive David Dickson said the company would be the first engineering, procurement and construction contractor to establish a full-scale fabrication facility in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Aramco had last year signed a land lease agreement with McDermott granting it a lease to establish the fabrication facility.

McDermott said in March last year that the new fabrication facility is likely to be operational by 2022 and would have a throughput capacity of 60,000 tonnes per annum at peak.