Saudi Aramco and Baker Hughes form new JV to develop non-metallic products

The new venture Novel will develop a broad range of products for various applications in the energy sector and promote domestic investment

Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil-exporting company, and US-based energy services firm Baker Hughes formed a 50/50 joint venture, Novel, to develop non-metallic products for multiple applications in the energy sector.

Novel’s new plant is being constructed at Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Energy Park (Spark), a 50-square-kilometre energy city in the eastern province, that aims to position the kingdom as a global energy, industrial and technology hub, the companies said in a joint statement.

In addition to job creation the new facility will help "foster growth of an emerging and innovative sector in alignment with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030”, the companies said, in reference to the economic transformation initiative that seeks to diversify the kingdom's economy and reduce its reliance on hydrocarbons.

The size of the investment was not disclosed. The new joint venture is also expected to support the kingdom’s efforts “to expand its commercial ecosystem and promote domestic investment”.

Aramco is diversifying into several areas besides oil and gas production, to help boost income as well as localise production in the kingdom.

Last month, the company revealed plans to expand its localisation initiative to drive investment into the domestic economy and branch out into new sectors in partnership with a number of global companies.

“The partnership with Baker Hughes reinforces our commitment to expanding the use of innovative non-metallic materials in our operations to drive efficiency and reduce maintenance and replacement costs," Ahmad Al Sa’adi, Aramco’s senior vice president for technical services, said.

Non-metallic products are being deployed in a variety of industries, from the oil and gas sector to automotive, building and construction, packaging and renewables.

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