DUBAI: Tops For Tankers
Dubai Drydocks has again topped the world's league table for repairing large tankers. A record year in terms of ship numbers and deadweight tonnage has been recorded by the yard for the fiscal year ending February 28. The shipyard repaired 182 ships totaling 26.1 millon dwt, compared with the previous best, during FY93, of 160 ships totaling 22.7 m dwt.
The breakdown of ship types is impressive at the large end of the market with 25 ULCCs (9.3 m dwt) and 47 VLCCs (12.61 m dwt) being drydocked, by far the largest in both sectors compared with any yard throughout the world.
Other ship types included tankers (38 vessels, 2.13 m), bulk carriers (23 vessels, 1.3 m dwt), general cargo vessels (29 vessels, .5 m dwt) and miscellaneous ships (20 vessels, .14 m dwt).
According to the yard's Chief Executive, Ernie Ware, "Because of the increase in the number of big tankers, we were not able to carry out the same number of multiple dockings as in previous years, but we still managed, with the help of our new floating dock, to handle some 110 smaller tankers, bulk carriers, general cargo vessels, etc., totaling 4.14 m dwt." During the past few years, Dubai Drydocks has dominated the repair market involving the westbound trade out of the Persian Gulf and is now penetrating the eastbound market, which for so long was the traditional market for the Singapore repair yards. This has led to reduced turnover figures in Singapore as well as reorganizations such as the recent announcement of the Sembawang/ Jurong Shipyard merger.
Meanwhile, Bahrain's ASRY has received a contact to convert two 133,752-dwt, Petrobras-owned ore/oil carriers into specialized offshore shuttle tankers. The 1980- built Mafra is to undergo a 37-day alongside conversion, and 1981-built Marau is to undergo conversion and drydocking work, taking 21 days to complete (eight days in drydock). One of the more interesting news items from the ship repair industry of late has been the decision by Danish shipowning giant AP Moller to purchase a 200,000-dwt capacity floating dock from Kiel, Germany, based HDW. This dock is one of the largest floating docks worldwide, and the company will reportedly reposition the unit in the Spanish Port of Algerciras, where Molleroperates its largest European containership transshipment base. It is believed that Moller has made this move — worth an estimated $14.3 million — following Kvaerner's decision to close Kvaerner Gibraltar, at which a great deal of work on the Moller containership fleet was carried out.
Petroleum Shipping, the Southampton-based headquarters of U.S. oil major Exxon's international fleet, will resume utilization of Singapore's Keppel shipyard for the first time in more than two years, following the award of the scheduled general repair of 91,741-dwt, Bahamian-registered tanker Mexico. This will be the first vessel in the Exxon fleet to utilize Keppel's Tuas shipyard since a controversial bribery case, which resulted in the conviction of Exxon's Cees van der Horst for fraud. Exxon had announced, during mid-1996, that Keppel was to be placed back on the quote list of yards in the Singapore area, but the Mexico contract is the first definite order. The ship arrived in the yard during the latter part of March for a four-week stay in a contract market sources estimate to be worth $2 million.
Bremerhaven's Lloyd Werft is still awaiting confirmation of the financial deal to cover the lengthening of cruise vessels Dreamward and Windward. The owner, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), is reportedly working to obtain suitable financing from a German bank.
Meanwhile, the repair of the first in a series of four ships from U.S. owner Lykes Lines, the 44,966-dwt, U.S.-registered containership Margaret Lykes, has recently been completed at this yard.
Another German yard involved in the conversion industry is Papenburg's Meyer Werft.
Work on the conversion of car carrier Ocean Highway into a specialized livestock carrier for Kuwait Livestock Co. is almost complete. The14,201-dwt, Kuwaiti-registered Al Messilah was scheduled to leave the yard on April 15. The majority of the steel work for this conversion project was performed by Klaipeda Shiprepair Yard, Lithuania. According to market sources, there are another four such conversion projects being negotiated with this owner. U.K. interest A&P Tyne has completed, on schedule, the $25 million marine work for the $300 million Maersk Curlew project. The ship has now been transferred to Amec's Tyneside facility for installation of necessary production modules and for other offshore work. The contract was awarded to A&P Tyne by MAS Alliance, a joint venture between Amec Process, SBM Inc. and Maersk Contractors. Apart from the work carried out by A&P and Amec, SBM is supplying the mooring turret, which is being manufactured in Abu Dhabi. In turn, A&P has GE Marine & Industrial Engines Circle 312 on Reader Service Card subcontracted the sub-waterline work to fellow Tyneside ship repairer Tyne Tees Dockyard and some of the steel fabrication to Wear Engineering, which is part of the same group as Tyne Tees. The 99,800-dwt Maersk Curlew, formerly Maersk Dorset, has been in A&P Tyne for the past six months, which has provided employment for 800 workers. Work has included 50 km of electrical cabling, 3.5 km of pipework and approximately 1,725 tons of steel work. A total of 100,000-sq.-m. of internal blasting and painting was carried out. The ship was moved from Tyne Tees Dockyard to Amec, where it will stay until August when it sails for Shell/Esso's Curlew field in the U.K. sector of the North Sea for a production start-up during October. Another U.K. yard involved in expansion is Birkenhead's Cammell Laird, which is to invest $4.8 million on refurbishing another two derelict drydocks, trebling capacity for the yard's fast growing ship repair activities. With the docks being reopened, Cammell Laird is providing more space for routine repair work, allowing sophisticated conversions and large repair work to be completed in the 977.6 x 139.4-ft. (298 x 42.5-m) drydock currently in use. The docks should be operational by autumn, after being decomissioned for almost 15 years. Belfast's Harland & Wolff (H&W) has been awarded an offshore rebuilding project involving semi-submersible drilling rig Bideford Dolphin, its first such contract in many months. The rig arrived from Stavanger, Norway, in March, and docked in H&W's main newbuilding dock. Work involves major steelwork and general upgrades to incorporate new piping and electrical systems. Work also includes fabrication and installation of a helideck support module, accommodation support frame, main deck and deck girders and installation of sponsons and RamRig drilling technology. Completion of the project is expected by the end of the third quarter of 1997. No contract price has been revealed, but it is understood that the project will account for 600,000 workhours. When completed, the rig — which is owned by Bideford Marine, London — will carry out drilling operations with Norwegian oil company Saga Petroleum.
Meanwhile, H&W's ship repair division is currently completingwork on 147,273-dwt Liberian tanker Sea Empress, which was severely damaged last year in Milford Haven. Work is progressing on schedule, and the vessel is expected to be redelivered to owner Seatankers Management next month. Spain's Astilleros Espanoles' Cadiz shipyard is currently carrying out three conversion projects. The first involves 132,995-dwt Liberian tanker Independence, which is owned by Conoco Shipping Company (USA), and is being converted into a FPSO unit. Work includes forward and aft mooring systems; export and import systems; installation of process facility modules; construction and installation of flare tower; modification of pipe system and accommodation areas; new deck crane, emergency fire pump and helideck facilities; and hull, deck, superstructure and tank coatings work. The second and third conversions involve an offshore rig and another tanker/FPSO conversion, both for Petrobras. Work on rig Petrobras XXVI involves conversion of accommodation bulkheads and lagging pipework on deck, and 282,750-dwt Brazilian VLCC Cairu (to be renamed Petrobras XXXIII) will be made into a FPSO. All three conversion projects are scheduled to be completed this month. Antwerp Shiprepairers' regular drydocking and repair contract with Switzerland's Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC), in place since March 1995, has provided the yard with a great deal of work during recent weeks. Approximately 40 ships, mainly containerships, for this company were repaired last year, including 30 dry dockings. The volume of MSC work at the yard was expected to lessen this year, although the yard has already been involved with some ships, all of which regularly call at Antwerp. The 38,686-dwt MSC Edna recently underwent fourweek long alongside repairs on hatch covers and container arrangements; 30,934-dwt MSC Laurence, ex-Dragon Komodo, was recently in for a four-day quick drydocking; MSC Veronique underwent a mini-docking; and 38,984- dwt MSC Alice arrived for repairs similar to those performed on Edna. There has been some reorganization in Finland following the closure of Kotka Ship Repair Yard on the country's southern coast. Turku Repair Yard, which includes facilities at Turku and Nantaali, is to take over the Kotka yard, which in the future, will be open for summer months only. Two of the yard's floating docks are to be retained (2,500 dwt and 5,000 dwt capacity), as well as office buildings, stores, machine shops and various yard equipment. Meanwhile, the largest floating dock currently at Kotka, which has a lifting capacity of 12,000 tons, has been sold to Denmark's Frederecia Vaerft for a price believed to be in the region of $3.5 million.