Oman Drydock plans US$60 million investment

"If we use our capacity effectively, there’s no reason why we can’t compete", Said Al Maawali, CEO, Oman Drydock Company
Oman Drydock's two large graving docks will soon be joined by a post-Panamax floating dock if investment plans are approved
Oman Drydock's two large graving docks will soon be joined by a post-Panamax floating dock if investment plans are approved

The new management team at Oman Drydock Company is hoping shareholders will approve a series of investments aimed at gearing the repair yard for greater retrofitting demand, as well as an entry into the newbuilding market.

The company, one of 16 logistics investments under state holding company ASYAD, is hoping for approval for a US$60 million plan that includes a floating dock that will be able to fit post-Panamax vessels; a floating crane with lifting capacity of 3,000 tonnes; a winching system to optimise use of space in the yard; and redesigned keel blocks that are also expected to boost capacity.

The plan is expected to be approved at a shareholder meeting in September. Said bin Homoud Al Maawali, CEO of Oman Drydock Co since 1 February, told The Motorship that he expected the floating dock to be operational within six months of the decision, with the floating crane coming a year later.

The company is aiming to use the extended facilities for its first forays into newbuilding, where it aims to focus on vessels under 80m in length. Al Maawali said that the company has already bid for five jobs that include new tug boats, barges and small bulk carriers.

Meanwhile, Oman Drydock is hoping to attract a greater share of the retrofit activity in ballast water management systems (BWMS) and scrubbers. Internal targets call for the company to sell 20 each of these retrofits by 2021 and it is seeking to build alliances with five or more suppliers in each sector. An agreement with Alfa Laval for both scrubbers and BWMS is already in place.

Other elements of the plan include brining naval architects and engine suppliers to the yards, as well as investing in environmentally friendly water blasters to boost the company’s painting business.

The investments underpin an ambition to match the success of the leading repair yards in the region. “We want to be on a par with them in revenue terms,” Al Maawali said. “Drydocks World in Dubai has three times our capacity but ten times our revenue, so I believe we have the potential to match them if we use the capacity we have and the new capacity we are bringing to the yard.”

Oman Drydock Co opened in 2011 and has performed repairs on nearly 600 vessels, focusing on tankers given its proximity to oil markets. It currently boasts two graving docks (of 410x95m and 410x80m and offers 2.8km of quayside.

See the June issue of The Motorship for more on Oman Drydock Co’s investment plan and ambitions.

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