McDermott International has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Saudi Aramco to expand and develop its human capital within the kingdom.
The agreement, which is expected to create up to 2,000 jobs during the coming years, was signed as part of Saudi Aramco's In-Kingdom Total Value Add (IKTVA) Program.
The MoU was inked during the first ever Saudi-US CEO Forum. McDermott was the only engineering, construction, procurement, and installation (EPCI) services contractor in attendance.
The inaugural forum was organised to coincide with US President Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia.
McDermott estimates the potential value of the MoU to be $2.8bn (SAR10.5bn).
Under the terms of the agreement, the US-headquartered EPCI firm has committed to a nine-initiative plan to increase its contribution to Saudi Arabia's localisation efforts, and to facilitate the kingdom in meeting its 2021 objectives.
McDermott plans to increase the number of Saudi nationals within its Middle East workforce to 40% by 2030.
David Dickson, president and chief executive officer of McDermott, said: "Today's announcement enhances our deep-rooted relationship with Saudi Aramco, our largest customer, and further demonstrates our commitment to Saudi Arabia and its vision.
“As part of our global strategy to enhance our capabilities and deepen customer relationships, this MoU strengthens our long-term plans to transition our Middle East operations to Saudi Arabia, which we believe positions us competitively in the regional market."
McDermott’s nine-initiative plan will expand the company’s local supply chain, develop full-scale fabrication and marine facilities, and move area operations to Saudi Arabia. It will also provide career training and development opportunities for highly-skilled Saudi nationals.
Linh Austin, McDermott's vice president for the Middle East and Caspian region, commented: “These initiatives underpin our long-term goal to significantly grow our business not just in Saudi Arabia, but regionally.
“This also builds on our recent efforts to increase Saudi Arabian-based fabrication and engineering through the opening of our new yard in Dammam and office in Al Khobar, as well as locally-sourced procurement," Austin added.