Drydocks World contracts signal green shoots

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First quarter newbuilding and conversion orders worth more than $200m have fuelled the first signs of recovery, according to Drydocks World – Southeast Asia Pte Limited.

The Drydocks World subsidiary landed two major contracts in January, the first to upgrade a crane barge to an accommodation barge for Leighton Offshore and the second to convert a container ship to livestock carrier for Saudi Arabia’s Hmood Al Ali Al Khalaf Trading and Transporting Est. The latter contract is worth more than $60m and involves around 5,500 tonnes of steel work.

On the newbuilding front, the company clinched repeat business from Coastline Maritime and Jack-Up Barge for a third ultra heavy lift construction support vessel and sixth jack-up barge respectively. Further business included two dumb barges for PT Kumala Barito Utara and a ro-pax catamaran for Australia’s Islands Transport Holdings.

Work on the newbuildings and conversions will be undertaken at Drydocks World – Southeast Asia’s Batam yards – Graha, Pertama and Nanindah and at its Singapore yard at Tuas. The vessels are due for delivery in 2011 and 2012.

“The market has been through a very tough 12 months, but the last quarter has seen signs of an upturn in both newbuilding and conversion inquiries.” said Drydocks World – Southeast Asia chief executive officer Denis Welch. “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.”

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