Saudi Arabian state oil giant Aramco shared plans on Monday to launch new businesses that will create jobs in the kingdom, as it secured new partnership deals with six companies in Europe and Asia

The firm said it had just signed memorandum of understandings (MOU) with Shell & AMG Recycling B.V. from the Netherlands; Chinese companies Suzhou XDM, Shen Gong, Xinfoo and SUPCON; and Posco from South Korea, to boost its industrial and digital capabilities at home, and expand its flagship “localisation programme”.

The agreements include studying the feasibility of building an integrated steel plate manufacturing plant in the kingdom, exploring joint investment opportunities for the services and manufacturing value chain, as well as in chip manufacturing and related technologies.

The oil company has been among major Gulf firms hit hard by a slump in demand and weak oil prices due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company saw its profits for the third quarter of the year drop by 44.6 percent, and still has to pay its shareholders more than $18 billion dividend for the quarter.

New businesses

In a statement on Monday, the firm said the latest collaborations will “pave the way for the launch of new businesses across multiple innovative growth sectors, including steel plate manufacturing, industrial 3D printing, digital equipment manufacturing, energy management and control; catalyst manufacturing and recycling and advanced chip and smart sensor manufacturing”.

“These new collaborations reflect Aramco’s commitment to increasing the company’s reliability and operational efficiency, as well as its commitment to further enhancing the kingdom’s commercial ecosystem and increasing employment and development opportunities for talented Saudis,” it added.

The company said the collaborations are also a significant milestone in the company’s In-Kingdom Total Value Add (IKTVA) programme, which was launched in 2015. “The expansion [of the programme] includes plans for new international partnerships and the establishing of companies through an industrial investment programme (IIP), which is linked to the development of Aramco’s business,” the firm said.

Amin H. Nasser, Aramco’s president and chief executive officer, said the new partnerships will “contribute to advancing innovation, sustainability and enhance the scale of reliability” in Aramco’s business ecosystem. It will also benefit companies operating in Saudi’s energy and chemicals sector.

“These partnerships will also have a strong focus on new technologies, by maximising our investments in non-metallic materials and the circular carbon economy, as well as the development of talented Saudis in communities where we operate,” Nasser added.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria) 

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