Saudi Arabia has picked the Hellenic Environmental Center (HEC), a marine waste and petroleum treatment company controlled by shipowner Dimitris Melissanidis, as its partner in an effort to clean up its ports.

During Posidonia, HEC signed an agreement to help the Saudi Investment Recycling Co (SIRC) develop recycling services for vessels calling in Saudi Arabia.

Under their exclusive partnership, HEC and SIRC will identify appropriate locations and establish industrial marine waste treatment facilities.

SIRC is fully owned by the Saudi Public Investment Fund.

The deal with HEC is part of “Saudi Vision 2030”, a multibillion-dollar investment programme that aims to diversify and modernise the country’s economy.

HEC is not the only marine company to benefit from Vision 2030. Last year, Dutch shipowner Boskalis announced it had secured a significant contract for a Red Sea port development to service a new futuristic city.

Saudi Arabia displayed sensitivity about its marine environment in 2020, when it joined other countries in banning the use of open-loop scrubbers in its waters.

Founded in Piraeus in 2000, HEC offers services to shipping companies, ports, oil platforms and industrial units.

It has built up a strong presence as a provider of port reception facilities in Greece and has expanded abroad — most notably to Hamburg and Gibraltar, where it operates under the “Green Port” label.

HEC’s previous expansion move was in Valletta, Malta, where it set up reception facilities to collect and transport petroleum residues in the anchorage.