Aramco Europe returns to Spain's Bilbao for Supply Chain forum

Early October saw Aramco Europe, alongside hosts Fluidex, address an audience of key Spanish companies at a Supply Chain forum in Bilbao. Bilbao, the capital of Spain's Basque region, is considered a leading innovation hub in Southern Europe.

Event partner Fluidex, is a private, non-profit organization whose priority is the international promotion of Spanish manufacturers in its specialist industrial sector of fluid handling solutions & process technologies. Its efforts include working with major enterprises like Aramco and exposing Spanish companies to opportunities in overseas markets.

“Supply chain events like the one in Bilbao are a chance for us to identify new, long-term partners,” said Aramco Europe president and CEO Ahmed Alkhunaini. “In addition, it's an opportunity to explore growth areas in Spain, which has an excellent supplier base and is a strong source of materials and services for our operations.”

Spain is a major contributor to Aramco's supply chain, with investments exceeding $4bn in the past five years. Considered market leaders in service provision and EPC (engineering, procurement and construction), Spanish companies are also manufacturers of critical commodities such as valves, piping and process equipment, while also distinguishing themselves by adhering to strict technical requirements.

This particular forum saw new strategic areas discussed such as sustainability, technology and advanced materials, industrial and energy services, as well as digital. The overarching aim was also maximize the opportunity for localization, in line with two key Aramco led initiatives – iktva and Namaat. This meant the attendance of several Saudi entities, such as the Ministry of Investment, the Saudi Industrial Development Fund and its Authority for Industrial Cities.

Commenting on their participation and the return of face-to-face meetings, sourcing specialist for Aramco Europe, Giovanni Cafaro, said: “It was great to have participation from government entities, as it complemented Aramco's own offering and delivered more on audience needs. Spain also confirmed that in-person events are the best way to conduct these, as the added personal component allowed for more effective dialogue and a better potential to bond.”

Aramco Europe's supply chain will see its next engagement take place in the Netherlands, where the company will re-connect with suppliers to explore new partnerships and areas for cooperation, following the last event which took place in 2018.