Executives from Aramco and Hyundai Heavy are joined by Saudi government officials at the new shipyar

Executives from Aramco and Hyundai Heavy are joined by Saudi government officials at the new shipyard's inauguration ceremony

Saudi Arabia has signalled its plans to develop a shipbuilding industry by giving green light to a US$ 4.3 billion shipyard on its Gulf coast.

Hyundai Heavy Industries will build the King Salman ship repair and shipbuilding complex, as a joint venture with the state-run oil firm Saudi Aramco.

The project is part of the country’s Vision 2030 initiative, aimed at diversifying the Saudi economy away from its dependence on oil and petrochemicals.

Development of the 496 hectare shipyard, expected to be in service by 2021, will ease the pressure on Hyundai Heavy, which has recently made public a plan to sell off assets and streamline its workforce in the face of falling orders.

Chung Ki-sun, executive vice president of corporate planning office of HHI, who is leading the project said: “We are pleased to be taking part in the first national industrial project of Saudi Arabia named after His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

“We will make our utmost efforts not just to make this occasion an opportunity to serve as a stepping stone for the take-off of our business, but also to make contributions to the economic development of Saudi Arabia.

“We will follow the successful example of the King Fahd Industrial Seaport in Jubail that HHI built about 40 years ago and has been playing a leading role for the development of Saudi Arabia.”

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