Bahri receives its first ‘gas ready’ VLCC ‘Rayah’ built by IMI and HHI
Bahri, a global leader in logistics and transportation, has expanded its Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) fleet to 42 with the addition of its first ‘gas ready’ vessel, named ‘Rayah’ and built by International Maritime Industries (IMI) and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) at HHI’s shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea, as part of a SAR 371 million (approximately equivalent to USD 98.9 million) contract signed in September 2019.
The construction of the vessel marks the successful completion of IMI’s first VLCC project. It also strengthens Bahri’s reputation in the crude-oil transportation market and reinforces its credentials as the world’s largest VLCC owner and operator.
As well as highlighting IMI and its partners’ capabilities to produce VLCCs to the highest international standards, the project enabled more than 50 IMI engineers to gain valuable on-the-job experience from working alongside HHI’s engineers in South Korea. This experience will contribute to the establishment of a skilled Saudi maritime workforce and the development of Saudi Arabia’s maritime and logistics industry under Saudi Vision 2030.
The new VLCC was officially named and inducted into Bahri’s fleet at a special ceremony organized virtually between Saudi Arabia and South Korea, where the vessel is currently docked. The ceremony was attended by Eng. Amin H. Nasser, President and CEO of Saudi Aramco; Dr. Abdulmalik Al-Hogail, Vice Chairman of Bahri; Eng. Ahmad Al Sa’adi, Chairman of IMI; Mr. Young-Seuk Han, Vice Chairman and CEO of HHI; Eng. Abdullah Aldubaikhi, CEO of Bahri; and Eng. Fathi K. Al-Saleem, CEO of IMI, as well as various other Bahri, IMI, and HHI executives.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Abdulmalik Abdullah Al-Hogail, Vice Chairman of Bahri, said the addition of ‘Rayah’ to Bahri’s fleet represents an important enhancement in the company’s integrated logistics and marine capabilities. “We are delighted that the induction of ‘Rayah’ marks the launch of our first ‘gas ready’ VLCC with multiple advantages, including fuel-efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and environmental benefits,” he said. “The carrier’s state-of-the-art systems, as well as its advanced design and accessories, ensure that it is among the best in its class. We are also honored to announce that skillful Saudi engineers from IMI contributed to building the new vessel, which falls in line with the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030 that aspires to raise the contribution of local content in the industry.”
Eng. Ahmad Al Sa’adi, Chairman of IMI, said: “The completion of this project is a major milestone for IMI and a reflection of the hard work and collaboration of everyone involved in the project. Working with our partners Bahri and HHI, we have successfully met the challenges of the global pandemic to deliver the vessel on time and to the highest international shipbuilding standards.
Al Sa’adi added: “The project has also enabled IMI employees to benefit from capacity building and knowledge transfer that will enhance our ability to build VLCCs in Saudi Arabia in the future. By delivering major projects like this, we are shaping IMI’s future as the largest maritime yard in the MENA region and a key driver of Saudi Arabia’s maritime industry and economic diversification.”
As a ‘gas ready’ VLCC, Rayah benefits from superior fuel efficiency, as well as advanced systems to ensure heightened safety, better controls, and improved sustainability. Built with the contribution of Saudi Arabian engineers from IMI, Rayah’s receiving ceremony was also a proud milestone for the Kingdom’s local maritime capabilities.
IMI, a joint venture between leading industry partners Saudi Aramco, Bahri, Lamprell, and HHI, is the largest shipyard in the MENA region at nearly 12 million square meters. It provides new build and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services for commercial vessels, including VLCCs, Bulk Carriers, Offshore Support Vessels, and Offshore Jackup rigs. It is the only shipyard with guaranteed offtake agreements worth USD 10 billion (approximately equivalent to SAR 37.5 billion) over 10 years, with partners Aramco and Bahri, for the delivery of 20 rigs and 52 vessels.
Bahri owns and operates a fleet of 90 vessels, including 42 VLCCs, 23 chemical and 10 product tankers, six multipurpose ro-ro vessels, and nine dry-bulk carriers, together with a strong orderbook, serving 150 ports worldwide.