Oman gears up for shipbuilding at Duqm yard

MUSCAT, JUNE 10 – Wholly government-owned Oman Drydock Company (ODC) — a subsidiary of ASYAD Group — is preparing the groundwork to scale up its capabilities with the goal of venturing into shipbuilding for the first time in the nation’s modern history. The announcement came against the backdrop of ODC’s participation in ‘Posidonia 2018’, the world’s leading expo of the global shipping industry, which concluded in Athens — Greece recently.  “Our aim is to be the first choice for ship-owners for ship repair and conversion operations of commercial tonnage and naval vessels, as well as the offshore industry, not only in Oman, but the entire Middle East, and with a strong order book and promising year ahead, we are in an advantageous position,” said Said bin Hamoud al Maawali (pictured), the newly appointed CEO of Oman Drydock Company.
“But our plans do not stop there. In a strategic move to continue the evolution of our operations and given our location, facilities, skill-set and the continuous commitment to deliver excellence, we are now looking at entering the world of shipbuilding,” he added in a statement highlighting ODC’s near-term ambitions for business growth. Since it commenced operations in 2011, ODC — which is located within the Port of Duqm — has handled more than 570 vessels. While the large majority of these drydockings have involved ship repairs and maintenance, a growing number pertain to conversions – a specialist skill that the ship repair yard is looking to increasingly capitalise on.
Furthermore, in response to market demand, ODC has also put together expertise to offer both ballast water management system installation and scrubber retrofitting services, said Al Maawali.
Announcing ODC’s proposed foray into shipbuilding activities for the first time, he added: “Our shipyard has the capability and capacity to deliver small units such as OSVs, tugs and barges to the worldwide ship building market. We are confident in our experience and knowledge to deliver this. We have a plan and the demand is there.”
The CEO was also quoted by a number of leading international maritime publications as saying that the company has drawn up a strategy for investing around $60 million towards upgrading the yard’s capabilities.
It includes a plan for the addition of a floating dock — the first of its kind in Oman — catering to Post-Panamax size vessels, and which is expected to be deployed within six months of the government’s approval of the investment. Also envisaged are investments in a new floating crane of a capacity of around 3,000 tonnes, designed to enhance the capabilities of the yard’s two graving docks.
ODC’s shipbuilding debut will initially focus on vessels of less than 80 metres, with the company having already submitted bids for the construction of new tug boats, barges and small bulk carriers, the CEO was quoted as stating.

Conrad Prabhu