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Drydocks World warns against repairs at newbuild yards

Drydocks World warns against repairs at newbuild yards

Dubai: Drydocks World Executive Chairman Geoff Taylor is warning owners to beware of repairing ships at newbuilding yards searching the sector for marginal business. "The two skills are entirely different animals," he says. Owners may be attracted by cheap prices in the Far East but yards without experience in repair business should not be an option. Despite the downturn, Taylor says there has been little reduction in work scope and the world's largest repair facility is working at full capacity. Drydocks World has changed its five-week "look-ahead programme" to five months as owners plan further ahead and it has no plans to revert to a shorter timeframe.
 
The shipyard group continues its expansionist strategy, It is investing some $300m in the 175-hectare Batam Maritime Centre which is modelled on the Jadaf facility and Dubai Maritime City and will be comprise reclaimed land involving 12 cubic metres of material. Much of the area will be leased to subcontractors but Drydocks World will have its own repair facility on site too. Even before the downturn, the company had decided that 2009 will be a year of consolidation. "We want to see the South East Asian yards functioning correctly," he says, "and working as efficiently as Dubai."
 
A significant number of vessels have had their lives extended as a result of the recent boom, he believes, noting the low levels of scrapping, until recently, over the last five years. "Some owners have spent a lot of money on repairs as a result of high day rates," he says. But statistics show already that a large number of older vessels are now being scrapped and an industry-wide fleet modernisation process is already under way.
 
The company has recently commissioned new conversion berth capacity at its principal Dubai facility. The 630-metre quay has increased the yard's ability to undertake FPSO conversions and it now has new capacity to undertake at least another two such projects a year.  [29/05/09]

 

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