Making Waves in the FPSO Market
As the largest Ship Repair facility in the Middle East
, Dubai Drydocks, which made its home in the late 1970's, was built on the foundations of capitalizing on its geographical proximity to the major oil terminals
in the Arabian Gulf
. Designed to accommodate oil tankers with a capacity of up to one million tons dwt, the year 2003 marks the 20th anniversary of operations at Dubai Drydocks. The Yard's core business of ship repair is backed-up by conversions and newbuildings. Experience in the field of conversions has developed progressively over several years and an important milestone has just been passed with the successful completion of the conversion of the VLCC Mosocean into a Floating Production Storage and Offloading unit (FPSO), named the Xikomba. The multi-million dollar contract was signed in April 2002 and the vessel sailed from the yard in August 2003 — ready for operation offshore Angola. FPSO Xikomba, measuring 1,141 x 171 ft. (348 x 52 m) and having a dwt of 257,000 tons, has a production capacity of 90,000 bpd and a storage capacity of 1.8 million barrels. This conversion will extend the life of the vessel by at least a further 10 years. The project has involved vast amounts of steel, pipe, electrical, mechanical, painting and accommodation work. In total over three million production hours have been used to complete the work.
Another FPSO is currently in the final stages of completion at Dubai Drydocks and due to sail from the Yard in October 2003. Both vessels are owned by Single Buoy Moorings of Monaco, a world leader in the FPSO market with many similar units operating around the world. The well-established infrastructure in Dubai has enabled the construction of topside process modules to be completed entirely within the U.A.E. that reduced the amount of dependency on overseas contractors. The expertise of such specialized companies together with the experience and capacity that Dubai Drydocks provides, forms an ideal solution for carrying out these large scale
projects. Newbuildings also received a boost during this year with the award of a 4,500 ton-lift floating dock for Saudi Aramco, which is nearing completion. Two 187-ft. (57-m) Diving Support Vessels and two Aluminum-hulled Pilot Boats just about to start construction for Dubai Port Authority. On the repair front, the year has been busy steadily with a good mix of vessel types and sizes varying from jack-up rigs to LNG carriers to tankers.
The biggest repair contract handled this year has been the major overhaul of the Maritime Jewel (ex-Limburg dwt 299,300 tons), which was damaged during a terrorist attack in October 2002. The double-hulled tanker arrived in the yard on March 30, 2003 and sailed on August 10 after the installation of more than 3,000 tons of steel.