Nakilat and Damen set up jv company

22 Jan 2010

Qatar Gas Transport Company Ltd. (Nakilat) and Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards Group are to jointly operate a shipbuilding facility in the Port of Ras Laffan, Qatar.

Nakilat, which claims to be the largest shipper of LNG, and Damen have agreed to form a joint venture company, the Nakilat-Damen Shipyards Qatar Limited, 70% owned by Nakilat and 30% by the Dutch company, to manage the operation of the 15-hectare shipyard, which has been built on reclaimed land in the expanded Port of Ras Laffan.

Deputy premier and minister of energy and industry, H E Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah said: “Our vision is for the new shipyard to become a centre of excellence for the construction of all types of vessels that are required to secure and support the development and growth of Qatar’s oil and gas industry and its expanding marine industries sector. Damen is a world leader with the proven expertise to assist Nakilat in achieving this vision”. He added that this facility will definitely allow the State of Qatar to become independent in terms of satisfying its immediate and future requirements.

The ship construction facility, scheduled to commence operations in the first quarter this year, will be capable of building vessels with a length overall of up to 120m. A workforce of some 9,000 people is expected to be employed in the facilities, underscoring the magnitude of the world-scale shipyard. The yard has been designed to produce commercial vessels such as tugs, offshore supply vessels, coastal tankers, ferries, naval and coastguard ships and luxury yachts.

The facility will comprise a 270m long, 65m wide and 40m high construction hall in which four 120m long vessels can be built simultaneously. Supporting facilities also include fabrication, pipe working, and mechanical as well as electrical shops which utilize the latest process technologies, to ensure world-class quality, delivery and productivity.

Nakilat had earlier formed a joint venture (Nakilat-Keppel Offshore and Marine) with Keppel Offshore and Marine, a major player in ship repair and conversion. Together with the Damen joint venture, this is said to be firm evidence of Qatar’s ambition to establish a marine industrial base at the Ras Laffan Port.

Al Attiyah said the shipyard facility is being developed in four phases consisting of such facilities as repair, maintenance and construction of vessels complementing each other and each with different players and strategic partners. He said the production of the ships at the facility will be competitive given the low cost of the workforce, adding that he hoped this will be the start of a very successful joint venture to build ships for the world market.

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