Keppel bolsters shipbuilding capacity with Nantong Shipyard

Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd. officially opened its new wholly owned subsidiary, Keppel Nantong Shipyard Co. Ltd. in Nantong, Jiangsu province, China, on Aug. 2.

Offshore staff

NANTONG, China -- Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd. officially opened its new wholly owned subsidiary, Keppel Nantong Shipyard Co. Ltd. in Nantong, Jiangsu province, China, on Aug. 2.

The ceremony was marked by the sale of two 45-metric-ton (49.6-ton) azimuth stern drive tugboats to Arabian Gulf Mechanical Services & Contracting of Kuwait. The vessels will be delivered in September.

The ceremony also celebrated the keel laying of two anchor handling tug/supply (AHTS) vessels for Whitesea Shipping & Supply Llc, based in the United Arab Emirates, and a harbor tugboat for Singapore-based Keppel Smit Towage Pte. Ltd.

These vessels are among the 18 offshore support vessels and tugboats under construction at Keppel Nantong, which has the capacity to build up to 25 such vessels on its 16-hectare (39.5-acre) site.

"The addition of this Nantong facility has increased Keppel's newbuilding capacity in meeting the growing demand for specialized vessels to serve the offshore field development market and growth in LNG terminals and maritime ports," says Choo Chiau Beng, chairman and CEO of Keppel O&M. "China is attractive as a cost-efficient and competitive shipbuilding center. We intend to increase our investment in Nantong and optimize Keppel Nantong's facilities to take on more and higher value projects."

Acquired by Keppel O&M in May 2005, Keppel Nantong carries out engineering and construction of specialized. Through the transfer of expertise and technology from Keppel Singmarine, with its 120 years' experience in specialized shipbuilding, Keppel Nantong achieved its initial production targets after one year of operations, the company says.

Keppel Nantong Shipyard is along the Yangtze River with proximity to supporting industries in the Municipality of Nantong, 100 km (62 mi) northwest of Shanghai.

8/2/2007

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