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Asry set for major expansion.

Asry has initiated a key project that will enable it to takein larger vessels and enlarge its berthing capacity.

Bahrain-basedNass Contracting has been awarded the $80 million design and build contract forconstructing a 1,380 m quay wall. This involves the construction of a 1,200 mwall with a water depth of up to 12 m, designed to receive 300,000 dwt vessels,as well as a 180 m berth for 40,000 dwt vessels.

The quay wall, which will have the first 400 m delivered bythe end of this year, will be fullyoperational by the end of 2011. It will be equipped with all services, utilities and drainage required for providing efficient alongside repairs.

The project, reviewed by consulting engineers Haskoning UKalso includes the construction of all support facilities and infrastructurenecessary to ensure a high level of reliability. The support facilities andinfrastructure are currently in the design phase and are planned for tenderingin the second quarter of this year.

The quay wall project is part of a $188 million expansionplan for the years 2008 up to 2012 that also includes two slipways, whichentered service last year and four new shipyard tugs besides an extendedoffshore fabrication area.

Asry's four new tugs have been designed by Singapore's Sea TechSolutions and will be built by the Bahrain shipyard itself on land adjacent tothe two new slipways and launched using them.

Despite a difficult year, tankers continued to remain Asry'score business. The yard handled tankers from both the Arab and internationalmarkets - large crude carriers, as well as product and chemical tankers, plusLPG carriers.

In 2009, Asry's leading customer continued to be Kuwait OilTanker Co (KOTC), along with Saudi Arabia's Vela Marine International. From theinternational market, Norway's chemical tanker operator Odfjell providedvaluable work year-in, year-out, as did BW Fleet Management, while regulartanker drydockings also came from Greece's Springfield Shipping Co (technicalmanagers for Olympic Shipping and Management) and Sun Enterprises. 2009 hadalso seen an increase in the number of tanker drydockings from India's SCI.

However, regular customer Brazilian state-owned oil company Petrobras, has been noticeable by its absence in 2009, having drydocked justone tanker, compared to nine vessels in 2008. Asry says the highly competitivesteel renewal rates offered by Chinese yards had snatched Petrobras from Bahrain.

Till mid-November 2009, KOTC had a total of eight tankersrepaired at Asry - three large crude oil carriers, four product tankers and oneLPG carrier. Vela, meanwhile, had docked five VLCC sisters.

The largest tanker to repair at Asry in 2009 was the 441,585dwt 'TI Oceania', operated by OSG Shipmanagement (UK) Ltd.

This 2003-built ULCC came alongside earlier in the year tobe fitted with specialist equipment to allow her to operate as an FSU in the AlShaheen oilfield off Qatar for Maersk Oil. She returned to the yard towards theend of November to have the same equipment removed.

Asry's aim to diversify saw an ambitious offshore servicesprogramme launched in 2008 leading to the establishment of a dedicated unit -Asry Offshore Services (AOS) - which will help the company take a lion's shareof the Gulf rigs market requiring services like maintenance and overhaul work.

Asry demonstrated its capabilities to meet the challenges ofthe rig market by successfully completing its first major contract, theupgrading and major repair of Hercules Offshore's jack-up drilling rig Hercules170. AOS specialises specifically in the offshore oil and gas industries andhas been undertaking work both onshore and offshore, from fabrication work forplatforms to life extension programmes for rigs and maintenance and repair workon offshore support vessels.

At present, AOS has some 10,000 sq m of fabrication areaavailable in the shipyard with a 200,000 sq m offshore fabrication area currentlyunder construction and due for operation this year.

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Date:Jan 1, 2010
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