Zamil Offshore Services Company – Working towards Vision 2030

We learn how Zamil Offshore Services Company is working to offer turnkey solutions and increase Saudization even during the strangest times.

Zamil Offshore Services Company comprises of three business units – Zamil Marine, Zamil Shipyards and Zamil Offshore Construction as part of Zamil Group Holdings, one of the largest private-sector groups in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. From their headquarters in the Eastern Province, Zamil Offshore Services Company operates three shipyards in Jeddah and Dammam, offering turnkey solutions across the offshore sector.

Zamil OffshoreThe company commenced in 1977,” explains Nelson Mackie, Head of Business Development and Marketing for Zamil Offshore (Shipyard Division). “We have a fleet of approximately 50 offshore support vessels, workboats etc. We can tailor the layout and configuration of each vessel to suit each project. One of our biggest clients in KSA is, of course, Saudi Aramco.  “One of our other business segments is Zamil Shipyards which operates in Dammam which is our main shipyard on the East coast with full facilities to complement our service offering, including a 7,500-ton capacity ship lift and 900 metres of quayside space. We also have the facility over in Jeddah, the only shipyard facility in Jeddah Islamic Port with several floating docks and quayside space.”

As well as their shipyards, Zamil Offshore Services Company also provides offshore construction services. They perform fabrication and installation, working on brownfield and greenfield projects offshore Saudi Arabia. Our Offshore Construction Division has vast experience performing hook-ups on several large historical and ongoing projects,” Mackie explains. ‘’We’re very much a turnkey solution provider.” To further enhance the services provided in this arena, we have a strategic JV with McDermott, named SBS Oceanics, to offer integrated offshore services to potential Clients based in KSA with a focus on midsize brownfield projects.

“One of our biggest Clients is, of course, Saudi Aramco who we support throughout their ongoing enhancements in the region,” Mackie says. “We have jack-up barges, OSV’s, AHTS etc. and we perform diving services, so we really do have the full range to support the marine business and Offshore Oil and Gas business in the region, if we don’t, we partner with a 3rd party.” With the range of capabilities Zamil Offshore has to offer, they can provide turnkey solutions for all the operations in the Oil and Gas sector. The company has created a one-stop-shop for the Oil and Gas and Marine sectors.

“We’re not restricted to serving the Zamil fleet alone, we offer our full support to all fleet operators working in the region in our shipyards. With the largest jack-up rig fleets on our doorstep, we are happy to perform MRO service on jack-up rigs, whether a drilling rig or a lift boat.

Growing Saudi Talent

Finding the right people for projects of this scale can be a challenge and Zamil Offshore is working hard to grow and develop its pool of Saudi talent. “Mobilising people for the projects that are currently ongoing in the region has been a challenge and a constraint due to the current COVID-19 situation,” Mackie admits. “Fortunately, Zamil Offshore as a company has 40 years’ operating in the region and approximately 4,000 staff we can call on, our in-house pool of industry leaders to created value-added solutions to support our esteemed clients. We fully support Saudi Arabia’s ‘Vision 2030’ and the pursuit of Saudization. We have a very high percentage score in Saudization, with our talented people across all disciplines.

Zamil Offshore We have talented Saudi Nationals in our offices, corporate management, right down to people on the shop floor. If we get a Saudi CV, we look at it very carefully in support of Vision 2030. That’s the biggest thing we’re aiming for.” That task has been made complex due to the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic this year, affecting all aspects of business and the economy. However; due to the people we have in the organization, we will prevail and exit this tumultuous period in excellent shape.

“It’s been a double bounce, COVID-19, then the crash in the oil price,” Mackie tells us. “However, it hasn’t affected our value-added operations in the shipyards. All are still operating, vessel MRO / recertification isn’t governed by the Oil and Gas industry. The certifications and timelines have been extended by Class, but they still have times they need to come in for equipment checks throughout the COVID-19 situation.”

Naturally, it’s also restricted the flow of labour into the country. “There’s been slight constraint with people coming into the country. We are being very selective. It’s great that we have facilities on the East Coast and West Coast, this allows us to mobilize as and when required due to project commitments” Mackie says.

The Saudi Mariner Program

To complement the rising Saudi Nationals in the company’s aforementioned positions, Zamil Offshore Services Company has embarked on a pioneering seafarer’s development initiative, dubbed as the “Saudi Mariner Program”. Started in 2005, the Saudi Mariner Program aims to localize the seafarer positions onboard Zamil vessels through proper training and development paths as required by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The program targets Saudi high school and technical institutes graduates and enrolls them in the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) course in the local maritime academy in Dammam Port.

The trainees are then labelled as “ratings”, which in marine terminology means they are unlicensed seafarers in the position of a seaman or mechanic, onboard Zamil vessels. After four years of comprehensive on-job training (including practical training in Zamil Shipyards), the employees are sent out-of-Kingdom to obtain their Certificate of Competence and graduate as officers to serve onboard Zamil vessels.

Defending the Nation

Due to the ongoing demand in Zamil Offshore Services Company in all aspects of the business right now in the commercial and defence industries, they require the right people for the right job.

“Jeddah is very busy,” Mackie acknowledges. “We have a lot of people in the Jeddah naval base through a joint venture. We actively support the naval industry. We have also a contract currently under execution at our Dammam facility with an international partner for the Royal Saudi Naval Force. We’re very busy, we’re diverse and we can support a lot of different industries.” For this project, we are employing and training many Saudi Nationals on critical shipbuilding jobs like aluminium fabrication and welding under this program. This is going extremely well and generating quite a lot of interest from the defenders of the nation.

The company’s goal is to be the leading and the most significant Offshore & Marine Services Company for the Oil and Gas offshore industries in the region as well as selected global market segments. To achieve this the company is driven by its core values, a commitment to excellence, a dedication to their customers, a focus on people, regional and global integration throughout the company.

The list of agencies and businesses that Zamil Offshore is working with is impressive, but the firm is still looking to expand its horizons through a range of joint ventures, agreements and collaborations with companies and agencies both within Saudi Arabia and around the world.

“We have certain key agencies, MTU is a German engine manufacturer and we are the sole agent for MTU Marine in Saudi Arabia,” Mackie says. “We’re very active with the Royal Saudi Navy Force and Saudi Border Guard. We’ve built vessels for export; we have manufactured several surveillance vessels for the Kuwait Navy. We’re looking for strategic joint ventures, agreements and collaborations with companies of that nature. We also have strategic agreements with Keppel LeTourneau Middle East FZE to offer an integrated service to potential Clients based in the KSA. We also have a similar arrangement with a major crane manufacturer, KenzFigee, for cooperation in the Kingdom for the provision of offshore crane services and local construction of offshore cranes and equipment. Also, a recent addition is Rig-Tech Solutions to collaborate and offer Clients “old and new” a one-stop-shop for berthing and preservation (suite of products from Zerust Oil and Gas) of assets during idle, layup or maintenance periods in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

But while Zamil Offshore Services Company is working with businesses from around the world, at heart it will always remain a thoroughly Saudi company.

“The main thing we’re excited about is Vision 2030. We’re a Saudi company through and through and we are in regular discussions with the Chairman to apply this great man’s vision” Mackie says. “What we push is a simple plan, Saudization and support of the defence of the nation. We are a true Partner to Defense and Commercial Sectors”

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