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RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Zamil Offshore and Spanish shipbuilder Navantia have agreed to cooperate to provide services for the Royal Saudi Naval Forces, RSNF, for its Avante 2200 corvettes, the first of which to be commissioned next year in March.

Navantia has been commissioned to design and build five Avante 2200 corvettes for the RSNF through a comprehensive contract, which includes through-life-support of the vessels in Saudi Arabia and training of the crew and maintainers.

“Zamil Offshore has a long-term order book for building and supporting the RSNF’s high-speed interceptors,” CEO Sufyan Al-Zamil told Arab News in an exclusive interview during the World Defense Show, WDS, in Riyadh.

“Our plans include building further specialist steel, aluminum and composite vessels. A key element of our growth strategy is to develop a dedicated maintenance, repair and operations managed service business,” he added.

A key provider of maritime defense and security capabilities in the Kingdom, Zamil participated at the WDS to showcase its 32-meter high-speed interceptor for the RSNF. The company has already reserved its space for the next expo, which is scheduled to be held on March 3, 2024.

Zamil Offshore signed a number of agreements with UK, French and Spanish maritime companies during the inaugural World Defense Show in Riyadh. (Supplied/Zamil)

The Saudi firm also showcased its designs for surveillance vessels, tugs and smaller boats that are in service with key local and international clients. The company is contracted to deliver 27 vessels and has already delivered nine to date.

Zamil, which operates shipyards on both coasts of the Kingdom, also signed three other agreements with British and French maritime companies to boost Saudi Arabia’s defense capabilities as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

The first one is a strategic partnership with UK-based global manufacturer Ribcraft to establish a rigid inflatable boat, or RIB, building facility in the Eastern Province. The company will be manufacturing the RIBs under the license at its current Dammam facility to serve the Middle East market.

Zamil also signed two joint venture agreements with CMN Naval, a French shipbuilder headquartered in Cherbourg, to manufacture composite high-speed interceptors and integrated logistic support services for the local and export markets.

“Zamil Offshore and CMN Naval will bring industrial assets, systems, financial, and technological resources with the intent to leveraging the best of both companies’ capabilities in creating a new champion in the naval shipbuilding industry worldwide,” Zamil said.

Zamil operates shipyards on both coasts of the Kingdom, including at King Abdulaziz Port in Dammam, Saudi Aramco’s West Pier Facility at Ras Tanura, and Jeddah Islamic Port. (Supplied/Zamil)

The company is licensed by the General Authority for Military Industries, GAMI, to take up various defense activities, including manufacturing, services, and trade. Zamil is also working towards supporting the Kingdom’s plan to localize 50 percent of military spending by 2030.

“Zamil is committed to providing facilities, resources, and training to maximize local content in all future programs — be it for new ships or through-life-support services,” Al-Zamil said.

Moreover, with the anticipated order book, “Zamil Offshore sees further expansion of its workforce across all disciplines including, engineering, project management, skilled workforce, and supply chain,” as the company hopes to create more jobs in the next three to five years.

Specialized in offshore marine and diving services, offshore construction and hookup services, shipbuilding, ship and rig maintenance, and seaport operations, Zamil has many strategic partners, including Motoren- und Turbinen-Union, or MTU, a part of Rolls-Royce.

A part of the MTU global network covering Saudi Arabia, Zamil is the exclusive and sole marine distributor covering sales, aftermarket, and services.

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