RAS LAFFAN, Qatar -- Qatar Gas Transport Co. Ltd. (NAKILAT) has signed an agreement with Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd. subsidiary KS Investments Ltd. to develop jointly a world-class shipyard facility in the Port of Ras Laffan, Qatar.
This agreement signifies a partnership between the world's leading transporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), and the global leader in ship repair, ship conversion and construction of offshore drilling rigs.
The proposed shipyard will be part of the expansion of the Arabian Gulf Port of Ras Laffan and is expected to begin operation in 2010.
The new facility will be suitable for the repair and maintenance of very large LNG carriers and a wide range of other vessels, and the conversion of tankers to Floating Production Storage & Offloading systems and Floating Storage & Offloading systems. The estimated cost of the shipyard is approximately $450 million.
"In our negotiations and through visits to Keppel's shipyards in Singapore, we found the overall culture of Keppel, their best practices and business operations to be a good fit with our vision for the new shipyard," Muhammad A. Ghannam, managing director of NAKILAT, says. "Keppel has very high standards of professionalism and commitment to service excellence which we appreciate.
"Our vision is for the new shipyard to become a centre of excellence for the repair and maintenance of LNG carriers, thereby securing a strategically important link in the supply chain of natural gas from wellhead to consumer."
"This business venture is in line with our 'Near Market, Near Customer' strategy to be close to our customers so that we can better serve them," Tong Chong Heong, managing director/COO of Keppel O&M, says.
"We will replicate our proven management system in the new shipyard, and leverage the resources of our global network of 17 yards and commercial agents to ensure success of this joint venture with NAKILAT."
NAKILAT and KS Investments have agreed to form an 80/20 joint venture company to manage the design, construction and operation of the 43-hectare (106-acre) shipyard, which will be built on reclaimed land. KS Investments will contribute $23 million for its 20% interest in the joint venture.
The name of the JVC is Nakilat-Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd.
Qatar Petroleum (QP) will fund the reclamation of the land and construction of the yard's infrastructure, such as the two dry docks, the quays, buildings and utilities distribution networks. QP will lease the infrastructure to the JVC.
The JVC will fund the shipyard's mobile equipment, such as the floating dock, cranes and workshop machinery, and provide cash for operations.
The shipyard can be expanded for the construction of specialized small ships (such as offshore supply vessels), and the fabrication of structures for the offshore oil and gas industry (such as jackup drilling rigs, process modules and decks, jackets, wellhead decks and flare booms), and the fabrication of components for land-based petrochemical and industrial plant. The facility will also provide life-cycle support in all the markets it serves.
NAKILAT is set to become the world's leading owner and operator of vessels for the transportation of LNG and associated products. By 2010, NAKILAT will wholly own 25 LNGCs and partly own an additional 29 vessels.