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April 7, 2010

Drydocks World SEA books orders worth $200 million

Drydocks World - Southeast Asia Pte. Limited (DDW-SEA) has secured newbuilding and conversion orders worth more than US$200 million since the start of this year. It says that while the newbuilding and conversion markets for the shipping and offshore sectors continue to be challenging, the first quarter of this year has shown some signs of recovery.

After a world-wide lull in conversion contracts in 2009, DDW-SEA won two major contracts in January. The first is an upgrade from a crane barge to an accommodation barge for Leighton Offshore and the second is a containership to livestock carrier conversion for a Saudi Arabian customer, Hmood Al Ali Al Khalaf Trading and Transporting Est.

The livestock carrier conversion is a particularly high value contract worth more than S$60 million involving some 5,500 tonnes of steelwork and DDW-SEA believes it can secure similar work in future.

Newbuilding contracts include repeat business from Coastline Maritime for a third ultra heavy lift construction support vessel and from Jack-Up Barge for a sixth jack-up barge. Other newbuilding orders include two dumb barges for PT. Kumala Barito Utara and a RoPax catamaran (designed by Sea Transport Solutions of Australia) for an Australian client, Islands Transport Holdings.

Work on the newbuildings and conversions will be undertaken at DDW-SEA's Batam, Indonesia, shipyards - Graha, Pertama and Nanindah - and at its Singapore yard at Tuas. Work on the newbuildings and conversions will start later this year and all are due for delivery in 2011-2012.

"The diversity of the business won reflects the efforts that we are putting in to 'cast the net wide' in searching for orders," says DDW-SEA CEO Denis Welch. "The market has been through a very tough 12 months, but the last quarter (Jan to March 2010) has seen signs of an upturn in both newbuilding and conversion inquiries and I am pleased to say this is reflected in the orders we have received."

He says the priority for DDW-SEA for the rest of 2010 is to deliver vessels currently on orderon time and budget and to secure more orders similar to those won in the first quarter.

"I am sure that if we can continue to win this kind of quality business, then 2010 is going to be a stronger year for the company," he adds.

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