Diversification is the key for ship repairers

Mar 03 2014


The four major repairers in the area have all had a reasonable amount of success by diversifying away from their core business of bread and butter ‘haircut and shaves’ into other areas, such as the offshore sector.

For example, Bahrain-based ASRY is expanding its already extensive range of in-yard services by signing an service agreement with Solas Marine Services Group.

This agreement will allow Solas to build a 2,000 sq m service centre for lifeboats, liferafts and firefighting & life saving appliances within the yard, which will not only expand ASRY’s services portfolio, but also bring new business opportunities to the Kingdom of Bahrain itself, the company said.

This is the first development in a programme aimed at increasing ASRY’s technical resources, which will continue to roll out in 2014. The yard already boasts several in-yard workshops, but is investing in more third-parties setting up in the yard, with a view to maintaining its reputation as a one-stop shop for all marine repairs.

ASRY CEO, Nils Kristian Berge emphasised the importance of this agreement as a step towards diversifying ASRY’s income through partnerships with major international companies. “The agreement is in line with ASRY’s policy for developing the yard’s technical resources and stay ahead of client’s needs,” he said at the signing ceremony.

The project will commence in March and is expected to be completed in four to six months. The term of the agreement is five years. This is the first is a series of similar arrangements, which will serve as additional resources for ASRY, the company said. Recent highlights at the yard include the repair of the company’s 4,000th  vessel – the LPG carrier Gas Al Gurain, owned by Kuwait Oil Tanker Co (KOTC) one of ASRY’s longest standing customers.

Another repair of note was conducted on board Odfjell’s chemical tanker Bow Firda, which had a Becker Marine  Mewis Duct fitted in only six days. The company claimed that the fitting of the duct would reduce the fuel consumption by 8%. She was followed by the Bow Fagus, which also received a Mewis Duct, had her hull treated and main engine overhauled.

During the visit of Transpetrol’s LPG carrier Progress, the vessel had a new waste heat recovery system exhaust gas economiserfitted, which uses the heat energy produced from the vessel’s diesel generators.

KOTC’s 2006-built VLCC, Kazimah III, entered the yard for a routine drydocking, which included a main engine overhaul, plus the installation of a gas emission monitoring system, while ASRY Consultancy carried out a ballast water treatment system study.

Recently, the $1.5 bill Oman Drydock (ODC) handled its 200th vessel – a Maersk Line containership – since its opening at Duqm in 2011.

ODC CEO Yong Duk Park said completing 200 vessels reflected the company’s growing stature as it aims to position itself as one of the best shipyards in the world.

“We are absolutely delighted to mark our 200th ship milestone with our hugely valued client Maersk,” he said. “This moment is a powerful statement to the industry that ODC is now a major player in the Middle East. We have worked enormously hard to develop a robust track record working on a wide variety of ships from VLCCs to containerships to LNG and LPG carriers to chemical carriers, dredgers, RO-ROs and barges.

“We can now show the shipping industry we not only have world class facilities, which include our massive drydocks, which can accommodate any size of vessel, but we are developing the workforce, skills base, training and infrastructure that our customers demand.

We have listened to our clients and we are offering efficient turnaround times, tremendous value, and world class workmanship.

“We are, of course, still seeking to grow and improve. As a result, we are actively looking to recruit more sub- contractors to our supply chain who can match our standards and share our vision. There are numerous tax   breaks and incentives available and we encourage companies with the right background to get in touch,” he said.

Raising the profile

Deputy CEO Sheikh Khalil bin Ahmed Al Salmi said ODC would now redouble its worldwide campaign to raise its profile and its prime selling points. “ODC has a passionate driving ambition to become one of the prime shiprepair yards in the world and the Middle East.

“We know we can deliver on quality, cost and critically time. Our geographical location thrusts us into pole position for the Asia to Europe shipping route, as well as the East African and Indian off shore industries. We can further slash costs and the time required for drydocking as vessels do not need to greatly deviate their course. This can save days in time, and a huge amount of money, which is such a key factor for shipping operators balancing tight budgets.

“Other key selling points include our unrivalled painting services and ability to deal with sludge and slops disposal. With painting, we have the perfect climate that few other yards can offer. With slops we can save up to three days sailing time, as we can deal with it all here on site, there is no need to sail to another location. We intend to market all these benefits hard in the coming months and years,” he stressed.

In total, ODC undertook 75 drydockings and repairs last year. The yard also saw staff numbers increase to more than 2,000 in 2013.

Clients included Dynacom, NYK, MSC and Exmar, Gulf Marine, the Shipping Corporation of India and Pacific International Lines. In a presentation, ODC marketing director Johnny Woo said key jobs undertaken included the drydocking and repairs of two crude oil tankers, the Aframax Karachi, operated by Pakistan National Shipping and the MR D&K-1 operated by Synergy Maritime.

The yard further undertook work on the Suezmax Gladiator, its first Dynacom ship. As a result, ODC has worked on some of Dynacom’s other tankers, including the Suezmaxes Shanghai and Smyrni, the VLCC Eliza and another Suezmax - Beijing. Woo said the company was delighted with its 2013 growth and it had ambitious expansion plans for 2014, harnessing its ability to handle any size of ship with its two giant drydocks and vast space.

“In 2013, we saw ODC continue to establish itself as one of the main shiprepair and conversion locations in the Middle East,” he said. “Our focus moving forward will be to win more business from existing and new customers operating bulk carriers, tankers and containerships. We see real potential for growth particularly in becoming a centre of excellence for the repair of LNG carriers.

“Our expansion into LNGCs will further be strengthened by our new licence to support the French engineering firm Gaztransport & Technigaz (GTT), which specialises in cargo containment systems for high-end liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers.” he said.

“Our partnership with DSME gives us tremendous experience and technical expertise as it provides 30 highly experienced senior managers, including our CEO Yong Duk Park to help run the shipyard,” he explained.

Financing received

Meanwhile, in Qatar, Nakilat Shipyard joint ventures have received a total of $160 mill financing from al khaliji.

These include Nakilat-Keppel Offshore and Marine (N-KOM) and $40 mill to Nakilat Damen Shipyards Qatar (NDSQ).

“This agreement is a clear demonstration of the strength of our businesses at Erhama Bin Jaber Al Jalahma Shipyard. N-KOM’s and NDSQ’s track records are testament to the success of the Emir’s vision for a world-class marine industry within Qatar,” said Abdullah Fadhalah al-Sulaiti, managing director of Nakilat and chairman of N-KOM and NDSQ at the time of the announcement.

To date, more than 200 projects have been completed at the Shipyard since its inauguration in 2010.

N-KOM is a joint venture between Nakilat and Singapore-based offshore rig constructor and shiprepairer Keppel Offshore and Marine; while NDSQ is a joint venture between Nakilat and Dutch shipbuilder Damen.

“The financing of Nakilat’s onshore assets solidifies al khaliji’s position as a major player in the marine industry backed by our continued growth, our internationally recognised credit rating and the trust our clients have placed in us to continue to deliver innovative financing solutions,” according to the bank’s group CEO Robin McCall.

“As Qatar continues to generate steady revenues from the hydrocarbon sector to support its plans of diversifying the economy, al khaliji will continue to play an important role in financing oil and gas and marine Industry projects and supporting the country’s solid growth and progress,” he added.

Late last year, N-KOM celebrated the completion of its 200th project; the repair of the VLCC Janah Star from Vela International Marine. The delivery of the vessel coincided with the shipyard’s third anniversary, since its opening in November 2010.

The facility has also successfully undergone a re-certification process by the American Petroleum Institute (API) for its ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 quality systems.

Eng Abdullah Fadhalah Al Sulaiti, chairman of N-KOM and managing director of Nakilat said: “We are very proud to celebrate the completion of our 200th project. N-KOM has positioned itself as a leader in shiprepair well recognised by the regional maritime industry as a premium shipyard providing a full range comprehensive shipyard services. I would like to express our deepest gratitude to Qatar Petroleum and the management, port staff and employees of Ras Laffan Industrial City for their full and continued support and the same which we have received from our valued business partners.”

Khalid Alhammad, Vela technical manager, said, “Vela has an excellent relationship with N-KOM, having repaired five VLCCs and a tanker at the shipyard in the past year. We are very satisfied with their quality of services and are equally impressed with the high level of safety upheld at the yard. We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with N-KOM.”

N-KOM has undertaken drydocking and repairs for gas carriers, tankers, containerships and a range of small vessels. The shipyard has also a dedicated offshore & onshore divisions catering to the needs of the oil and gas industry.

Established in 2007, N-KOM is a joint venture between Qatar’s gas shipper Nakilat and offshore rig constructor and ship repairer Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (KeppelO&M).

Co-operative ventures

In Dubai, Drydocks World regularly holds meetings with shipowners and other maritime bodies to foster greater co-operation.

Recently, Drydocks World and Maritime World received a high-level delegation from the Suez Canal Authority (SCA), chaired by Admiral Mohab Mohamed Hussien Mameesh, SCA chairman & managing director.

Khamis Juma Buamim, chairman of Drydocks World and Maritime World, gave a detailed explanation on the existing plans and future business in Drydocks World and Dubai Maritime City (DMC), adding that the leadership of Dubai supports the marine industry, which in turn enhances the prestige maritime sector and its global significance.

The two sides agreed to develop cooperation and to form a working group to exchange experiences and discuss potential joint projects within the strategic plans for the Suez Canal development.

Another discussion was held with Ravi Mehrotra CBE, executive chairman of Foresight and executive chairman and co-chairman - Europe India Chamber of Commerce, Belgium and Amulya Mohapatra, head of shipping Cyprus.

A number of topics of mutual interest were discussed – the foremost being business opportunities for developing the rig business.

Foresight has interests in tankers, offshore drilling and multi-purpose vessels, which are managed from Cyprus.

Foresight wants to run its operations from the UAE. DMC will offer support and assistance for the company to establish itself in the region.

Buamim said, “We are delighted that more and more companies are acknowledging the emerging clout of UAE in the maritime and energy, oil & gas arena. In recent times, there is sustained interest from companies all over the world in the world-class Dubai Maritime City, which holds a cornucopia of companies with maritime interests, creating vital synergies for the growth of the industry, which is emerging from the global financial meltdown.”



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