Oman Drydock Company (ODC) has appointed one of Oman’s most experienced maritime professionals as deputy CEO to help support and grow its rapidly expanding operations.
Dr. Ahmed Al Abri, draws on 17 years experience working as a naval architect overseeing major projects in shipyards around the world in the UK, Holland, Romania and Singapore.
“When I first went to study Naval Architecture at Southampton University in the UK, there were no shipyards in Oman,” he said. “Now, nearly 20 years on, Oman is blessed with one of the best equipped, most competitive, most strategically located shipyards facing the Arabian Sea in Oman Drydock. For me, this is a job which fits with my experience and academic background. Shipyards are similar in their operations and I have been very fortunate to work in a wide range of them and learn from many talented people. This has given me a real insight into different schools of thought and approaches. I am absolutely relishing investing that experience into ODC working with the DSME team. DSME has done a good job with the existing Omani staff getting this shipyard off the ground over the last 10 years. The vision now is to kick on and build on this solid bedrock, of more than 300 drydockings, repairs and conversions, and take Oman Drydock to the next level.”
Dr. Al Abri said his role is to oversee the operations at the yard as it becomes much busier, giving clear, coherent guidance so all departments are working in harmony.
“My PHD was in the operational management of shipyards,” he said. “So it is fantastic to have the opportunity to put those ideas into practice. We are tackling big issues that have slowed operations in the past such as visa and customs bureaucracy as well as complex environmental obstacles. In addition, we are expanding our supply chain building strong alliances with a broad cross section of companies including welders, painters, blasters and engine suppliers. Moreover, we are improving the truck, rail and logistics access to Duqm. All these factors make us much more desirable to customers who want to ride a commercial wave and see real passion, real commitment and real hunger from a new keen shipyard that wants to impress by delivering the best possible service. We have seen that recently with Springfield Shipping in Greece where the extra efforts that we went to converting the Olympic Luck from an OBO to a VLCC saw us rewarded with a contract to complete two more conversions on the Olympic Lion and Olympic Leopard. This dedication to the customer, as well as our confidence and capability to deliver, is fundamental to the future success of the Oman Drydock.”
Dr. Al Abri said the core areas for future growth included general repairs, conversions, retro fits and ship building.
“Our geographical position is one of our key unique selling points,” he said. “The convenience we can offer means ship owners can save time and money by not having to deviate course through the Strait of Hormuz. Furthermore, we offer the ideal climate for painting and blasting which other shipyards in the Gulf cannot match because they do not share our climate.”
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