- Lamprell has agreed a proposed joint venture to establish a maritime yard for the construction, maintenance and repair of offshore drilling rigs and vessels in Saudi Arabia.

Lamprell, through a wholly owned subsidiary, said it had entered into a conditional agreement with Saudi Aramco Development Co, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saudi Arabian Oil Company; the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia and Hyundai Heavy Industries Co to participate in a joint venture for the establishment, development and operation of a maritime yard as part of the complex known as 'The King Salman International Complex for Maritime Industries & Services'.

Lamprell said this would provide a critical point of entry to the Saudi market with exposure to Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil company and would enable Lamprell to diversify its global reach and to broaden its sector and product expertise.

Chief executive Christopher McDonald said: "We are excited to announce this transformational transaction which will not only make Lamprell a participant in potentially one of the largest yards in the Arabian Gulf but also provide access to the most important market in the industry and one of the largest players in the sector.

"The transaction will enable growth in scale beyond Lamprell's capability as a stand-alone entity and will allow the Company to strengthen its competitive position through efficiencies, diversification and broader reach.

"Participation in the Maritime Yard also secures access to one of a limited number of companies globally that we believe will be receiving orders for and building new jackup drilling rigs in the near-to-medium term with significant component parts of the first two jackup drilling rigs expected to be subcontracted to Lamprell.

"The transaction is aligned with the Board's long-term vision of broadening the Company's client base and addressable markets and developing strategic partnerships, and we look forward to working with our JV Partners to establish the Maritime Yard."

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