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Drydocks World gears up for China venture

Singapore: Drydocks World is confident it will have all the paperwork out the way to get cracking on its China debut by year end.
Denis Welch, ceo, Drydocks World, Southeast Asia, told Seatrade Asia Online that he was meeting with Chinese officials today to close in on the yard in Jiangsu province near Nanjing on the Yangtze. The yard has been wholly owned by Singaporean outfit Top Niche Associates and has been in the building game for the past 18 months. By neatly buying out the yard operations of Top Niche, Drydocks World has circumnavigated the China ruling banning foreign majority shareholdings of Chinese yards.
The site has a building berth to fit panamax sized ships and to begin with Drydocks World will focus on low end ships such as self-propelled barges and tugs. 'It gives us a toe hold in China,' said Welch.
Meanwhile, last week saw another milestone in the fast emerging Dubai headquartered yard operator with the launching of the second rig from its new Batam yard in Indonesia. Reclamation at the site will go ahead, said Welch, giving the facility an eventual 175 ha of space. Globally, Drydocks World now boasts 29 building berths and eight floating docks.  [1/12/08]


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