Gulf Marine Services (GMS) will set up a state-of-the-art facility at Zayed Port in Abu Dhabi to construct and maintain its offshore support vessels that serve the region’s oil and gas industry.
Abu Dhabi Ports, the master developer, operator and manager of ports and Khalifa Industrial Zone in Abu Dhabi, has signed a contract with GMS to this effect.
Zayed Port in Abu Dhabi city, a regional hub for the cruise industry, and general and bulk cargo, will lease the new facility to GMS for three years.
GMS, founded in Abu Dhabi in 1977 and listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2014, is the largest operator of self-propelled self-elevating support vessels (SESVs), also known as jackup barges, in the world.
The company’s construction and maintenance yard is currently located in Mussafah, Abu Dhabi. The relocation to Zayed Port will bring substantial benefits to GMS’ business and clear advantages for its clients.
The new site is double the size, increasing the yard to 42,500 sq. ft. This larger capacity will allow GMS to bring subcontracted fabrication work in-house, generating cost savings for both GMS and its clients, said a statement.
The location of Zayed Port is operationally more efficient being closer to the channel, with access to the sea requiring just one day’s passage instead of up to six days required from Mussafah due to tidal conditions. All vessel construction, repairs and mobilisations will be carried out from the new yard.
The move will be phased between now and March 2016 when the company’s latest new build vessel, GMS Sharqi, is scheduled for completion at the Zayed Port site. GMS’ head office will remain in Mussafah and the yard there will continue to be used for supplementary purposes, it said.
The latest technological advancements attained by Abu Dhabi Ports have played a role in this development at Zayed Port, which recently witnessed a makeover after container and RoRo (roll-on/roll-off) cargo traffic was moved from there to the state-of-the-art Khalifa Port.
The space freed up by this transition paved the way for the GMS facility, and Zayed Port’s newly focussed activities of expanded general and bulk cargo business.
“GMS’ new facility at Zayed Port is the latest extension of Abu Dhabi Ports’ significant services to the exploration and production sector, which is vital to the economy of the UAE and the region. Zayed Port and two adjoining ports―Free port and New Freeport―are playing a major role in the important services to this crucial sector,” said Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports.
“As the maritime business enabler in the Emirate, Abu Dhabi Ports always seizes new opportunities in the maritime industry to expand our areas of business,” he added.
Duncan Anderson, CEO of GMS, said: “GMS is very pleased to be entering a new partnership with Abu Dhabi Ports. We have been very busy at our current yard, having increased our SESV fleet size from nine to 13 vessels since 2014; by the end of 2016 we will have added another two vessels.
"We were searching for a new location that would allow us to continue our business strategy to grow our fleet and operations and to make further improvements to our build process, while offering competitive and flexible offshore support solutions to our national and international oil and gas clients. The first class facilities at our new Zayed Port site will allow us to do just that, and there is excellent potential for our future operational requirements,” Anderson said. - TradeArabia News Service
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