Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard (ASRY), one of the world’s leading shiprepairers, opened its doors to more than 400 guests, including a group of international journalists earlier this month as part of ceremonies marking its 35th anniversary.
Established as the first ship repair facility in the Arabian Gulf designed for super tankers, ASRY opened for business in 1977. The shipyard is owned by the Organization of Arab Petroleum Producing Countries (OAPEC), which include Bahrain, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Iraq and Libya.
The ceremony highlighted a number of investments at the shipyard that are part of its Strategic Expansion Plan. Based in Bahrain, ASRY is in the midst of an $188 million expansion that will bolster its ability to handle Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs), containerships, bulk carriers and LNG carriers, as well as build on an already growing offshore business. ASRY unveiled a new 1,380-meter repair quay wall that will allow accommodation of three 300,000 dwt ships simultaneously, as well as 180 meter berth for 40,000 dwt vessels.
The investments come amid increasing competition from new facilities in neighboring Gulf states, including Dubai and Oman.
By the end of this year, ASRY will also have a 200, 000 square foot offshore fabrication and load-out area. ASRY has its eye on fabricating topsides for Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels.
Two cranes are expected to arrive this month to support repair at the new quay. “It’s going to support the ship repair work and also support the offshore market we are diversifying to,” says ASRY CEO Chris Potter.
ASRY has become a large player in the offshore business since forming a special offshore division called ASRY Offshore Services in 2008. The shipyard is also home to a number of jack-up vessels cold stacked and awaiting reactivation.
In 2010, ASRY repaired 210 vessels, 29 of which were U.S. owned. Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. alone repaired 10 vessels at the shipyard, including converting the dustpan dredge Ohio into a cutter/suction dredge.
Pride International repaired six rigs at the yard, while Crowley Technical Management has five Pure Car Truck Carriers dry-docked and repaired at the facility.
With the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet stationed in Bahrain, naval repair and maintenance is also an important source of business for ASRY. The U.K.’s Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary and the Bahrain Navy and Coast Guard are also regular customers.
The first half of 2011 saw ASRY post strong results, repairing 107 vessels, while employing a workforce of about 6,000 at mid-year.
ASRY is an enormous facility. At 255 meters long, the slipways at ASRY are already some of the largest in the world, which are used to haul up smaller vessels. While Marine Log was in the shipyard, the offshore tug Kirkconnell Tide was undergoing maintenance on one of the slipways, while the containership Maersk Idaho was undergoing abrasive blasting in the graving dock (see photo at right).
The shipyard has three docks, including the graving dock Dock #1 at 375 meters x 75 meters with a crane capacity of 100 tonnes, which can handle a 500,000 dwt ship; floating dock Dock #2 at 252 meters x 53 meters, which can handle a 120,000 dwt ship; and floating dock Dock #3 at 227 meters x 49 meters, which can handle an 80,000 dwt ship.
NEW QUARTET OF TUGS
Also part of ASRY’s Strategic Expansion Project is the construction of four 40-tonne bollard pull Azimuthing Stern Drive (ASD) tugs for its own use. The first two of four ASD tugs for towage duties in its shipyard have been completed. The four 40-tonne bollard tugs are replacing four older tugs.
The design for the new tugs was provided by Singapore’s SeaTech Solutions, Pte., with a materials package provided by Pacific Ocean Engineering & Trading, according to ASRY’s Mike Hood.
The last two 24.2m tugs are expected to be completed in early 2012. The tugs are being built by ASRY itself on land adjacent to its large slipway complex and will be launched using the slipways.
The compact design of the new tugs allows for operations in restricted areas in the shipyard and dry docks, with a low air draft enabling assistance to highly raked ships.
JOINT VENTURE TO DIVERSIFY
In a move to diversify, ASRY struck a deal with the U.K.’s Centrax Ltd. to form a joint venture, ASRY-Centrax Ltd., to build power barges. Steel has already been cut at ASRY for a pair of power generation barges for an undisclosed owner. The basic hull will include two Rolls-Royce Trent 60 gas turbine-powered gensets that will produce a total of 125 MWe.
The concept behind the TPB 125 Power Barge is that it is a self-contained, modular electricity generating system designed to be located (and relocated if necessary) in ports, rivers or sheltered locations. One of the big advantages of the power barge concept is that its transportability makes it easier to finance for an owner and can provide a quick, responsive source of large amounts of power in a developing country or an emergency situation.
Look for additional coverage on ASRY's 35th anniversary in the January 2012 issue of Marine Log.
December 16, 2011