A memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed this week by Saudi Aramco and Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE) will see the two firms establish a new joint venture facility in Saudi Arabia to manufacture non-metallic materials which will be used in a variety of areas of the energy industry.
Non-metallic applications are deployed in various industries, including oil and gas and renewable energy, to manufacture products including flowlines, downhole production tubing, vessels, pumps and cooling towers, all of which are manufactured from non-metallic materials such as plastic, carbon fiber and glass fiber.
Saudi Aramco has said it is its strategy to play a leading role in accelerating the deployment of non-metallic materials globally in an effort to add to the efficiency and reliability of operational assets by reducing the effects of corrosion.
As a first and critical step toward developing such capabilities in Saudi Arabia, the joint venture will initially focus on non-metallic reinforced thermoplastic pipes, the national energy company said.
“This partnership with BHGE is another step in Saudi Aramco’s journey toward expanding the use of innovative non-metallic materials in its operations,” said Saudi Aramco’s Senior Vice President for Technical Services, Ahmad Al Sa’adi.
“Saudi Aramco has successfully deployed more than 5,000 kilometers of non-metallic pipes, resulting in a significant increase in efficiency and reduction in maintenance and replacement costs across the company’s operations,” he continued. “Producing these materials in the Kingdom would also unlock opportunities for local manufacturers and facilitate knowledge transfer.”
Neil Saunders, CEO of BHGE Oilfield Equipment, said, “As a full stream oil and gas service and technology provider, we have a deep background driving non-metallic product development that will benefit a wide range of industries. Saudi Aramco’s vision to expand their product development in the region aligns with our vision to support innovation and manufacturing in Saudi Arabia.”
Saudi Aramco recently opened the Non-metallic Innovation Center in the United Kingdom in collaboration with the UK-based Welding Institute and the National Structural Integrity Research Center to conduct research and development of non-metallic technologies. The center collaborates with leading academic institutions and manufacturers to develop, test, and market new products.
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