Saudi Aramco Breaks Ground at First Offshore Fabrication Facility

A major new development is taking shape at Dammam's King Abdulaziz Port. Saudi Aramco's Offshore Projects Division recently celebrated the beginning of fabrication activities for four offshore platforms at the newly constructed STAR Fabrication Facility.

It is Saudi Arabia's first in-Kingdom offshore facilities fabrication yard and the centerpiece of the new long-term agreement (LTA) contract awarded to a consortium between Snamprogetti Saudi Arabia Ltd.; and Saipem, TAQA, Al-Rushaid Fabrications Company Ltd. (STAR).

The LTA required the contractor to build an in-Kingdom full-service fabrication yard and offshore support base capable of constructing the company's increasing number of offshore well platforms and pipelines. The STAR facility, covering 300,000 square meters and capable of fabricating 14,000 metric tons of structural steel per year, will directly employ about 900 workers, presenting significant opportunities for local employment and local businesses.

The entire facility, incorporating the latest in fabrication technologies, was engineered, procured and constructed in just over one year.
Northern Area Projects Department manager Abdulaziz I. Fallatah said, "In addition to advancing Saudi Aramco's Business Objectives, this new state-of-the-art facility also achieves the company's goals of stimulating the Saudi economy and developing Saudi nationals in the highly skilled offshore fabrication industry."

Training of the initial group of Saudi nationals in skilled crafts has begun in earnest and is proceeding according to plan.

The STAR facility was constructed with "best practice" principles and the highest quality standards in mind. As the first such facility to be built in Saudi Arabia, it was essential to ensure that the new fabrication yard is competitive in all respects with existing GCC-based offshore fabrication yards.

In addition to building offshore facilities in-Kingdom for Saudi Aramco, it is expected that the STAR yard will secure projects and build facilities for other GCC-based clients and beyond -- bringing new business to the Kingdom.

The result is that a new, world-class, offshore fabrication facility has been introduced to the GCC marine construction market, which will increase the regional fabrication capacity, especially during periods of high demand.


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