Oman Drydock Company (ODC) says it intends to unleash its potential to become one of the leading shipyards in the world for new build, conversion and repair after completing its first major conversion contract and 300th drydocking.
The $1.5bn shipyard, which is one of the biggest and best equipped in the world launched in 2011 in the Middle East’s new ports and logistics city of Duqm. It announced it had completed the conversion of Greek-owned crude oil carrier Olympic Luck at a special ceremony at the shipyard. Vessel owners Springfield Shipping Company joined the event to celebrate the completion.
ODC chairman Dr Abdulmalik Bin Abdullah Al Hinai said the shipyard is developing a formidable reputation for shiprepair and conversion services and is now gearing up to attack the global shipbuilding market.
"We are extremely proud to announce the completion of this project which saw the Olympic Luck converted from an Oil Bulk Ore carrier to a Very Large Crude Carrier," said the ODC chairman. "This was the first major conversion job we have undertaken and is a terrific showcase for the world class infrastructure, facilities and workforce we have.
"The vessel weighs more than 319,000 tonnes and is close to 314 meters in length. More than 1,000 men worked on the job which involved 3,000 tonnes of steelwork and was completed in around 80 days.”
ODC Chief Executive Yong Duk Park said the conversion was helped enormously by the highly sophisticated expertise of Korean shipbuilding giant DSME which is ODC’s partner. Mr Park said few other shipyards in the Gulf can match the level of conversion and ship building skills at ODC’s disposal because of its partnership with DSME.
"We removed bulk head covers and installed new swash bulk heads, making the vessel multi-functional for more efficient loading,” he said. “We used DSME's broad knowledge of precision engineering and design innovation to inform our construction methods. For the Olympic Luck we fabricated close to 40 blocks between 50 and 80 tonnes. This enabled us to build in larger portions, reducing on time and cost.”
Springfield Shipping Company General Manager Dimitris Patrikios said ODC's ability to deliver the highly complex conversion project could lead to future work with the yard.
“This was a unique project which helped to show the professional expertise of ODC,” he said. “It was the first time ODC has taken on a project of this scale. Our decision to award the contract was based on ODC's promise to complete the project with high quality.
“We trusted ODC and we have been rewarded by its willingness to find efficient solutions. Trust requires hard work, the right attitude and a focus on the long term. We would like to thank ODC and all ship yard supervisors and workers for completing this work to ensure the Olympic Luck can transport oil safely around the globe."
Dr Abdulmalik Bin Abdullah Al Hinai said ODC is looking to capitalize on its unique selling points to catapult itself further into the global multi-billion pound ship repair, conversion and build industry.
“Our ambition is to be renowned as the best drydock in the Middle East," he said. "ODC, the port of Duqm and the maritime sector, more widely, have fundamental roles to play in Oman’s future economy. We encourage young people in Oman to grasp the glittering opportunities that the maritime sector offers for long term fulfilling careers. It is important emphasize that the maritime industry offers opportunity for people of all academic backgrounds.
"More specifically for ODC’s geographical location in Duqm thrusts it into pole position for the Asia to Europe shipping route as well as the East African and Indian off shore industries. Duqm’s location means vessels do not have to greatly deviate their course helping to slash costs and the time required for drydocking. This can save days in time, and a huge amount of money, which is such a key factor for shipping operators balancing tight budgets.
"ODC has a number of very strong unique selling points that give us a competitive edge. Our dry docks can accommodate any size of vessel. The shipyard has one of the longest docks in the Middle East at 2.8km. If desired we still have the space and planning permission to double in size again.
"Furthermore ODC has unrivaled painting services and ability to deal with sludge and slops disposal. Our climate provides a perfect environment for painting that few other yards can offer. The slops and sludge terminal has a capacity of 10,000 cubic meters which is the largest in the Middle East. We can save up to three days sailing time as we can deal with it all here on site, there is no need to sail to another location.”
ODC has developed a robust track record on a wide variety of ships from VLCCs to container ships, LNG and LPG carriers to chemical carriers, dredgers, RO-ROs and barges. It is rapidly developing its workforce and skill base, using world class workmanship from more than 12 nations, while boosting training and infrastructure.
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