Nakilat-Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd

Qatar’s premier shipyard

Established in 2007, Nakilat- Keppel Offshore & Marine Limited (N-KOM) is a joint-venture enterprise born out of a partnership between two global leaders – Qatar Gas Transport Company (Nakilat) for liquefied natural gas (LNG) transportation, and Keppel Offshore & Marine (KOM) in ship repairs,conversions, and construction of offshore drilling rigs.

N-KOM is located within the worldclass Erhama Bin Jaber Al Jalahma shipyard, which is strategically located near to the LNG terminals in Ras Laffan Industrial City, making it Qatar’s premiere shipyard.

Spanning 43 hectares, the shipyard has been designed for ship repair and the maintenance of a spectrum of marine, offshore and onshore structures. Since its inauguration in 2010, N-KOM has completed over 100 projects for various international clients on vessels ranging from LNGs, LPGs, tankers, and very large crude carriers (VLCCs) to containers, jack-up rigs, and offshore supply vessels (OSVs). With the rapid development taking place in Qatar, the company has expanded its services further to include onshore and offshore industrial and infrastructural engineering on top of its marine business.

During this time, N-KOM has put in place a multitude of service agreements with various major fleet owners, including a three-year ship repair arrangement with Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Limited (STASCo), and servicing Nakilat’s fleet of LNG carriers. Furthermore, the company has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Gulf Drilling International (GDI) Idemitsu Tanker, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, NYK Line, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Iino-Lines, and Marine Contracting Association (MARCAS) to provide shipyard and dry-docking services to their vessels.

Besides leveraging on the knowledge and expertise of its parent company KOM, N-KOM’s success is also due to its strategic location on the doorstep of LNG-loading terminals. The shipyard plays a key role in servicing this industry by providing a comprehensive range of solutions from routine dry-docking repairs, to more specialist services like membrane tank servicing. With the increasing drilling activities carried out in the Middle East, N-KOM is in a prime position to provide necessary repair, fabrication and maintenance services to a wide range of vessels and structures for the offshore and onshore industries.

“The company is investing heavily in enhancing its service range to meet the needs and demands of the rapidly growing LNG sector as the demand for natural gas increases worldwide,” describes CEO Mr Abu Bakar. “In January, the shipyard secured coolant supply for LPG vessels undergoing repairs at the yard. This facilitates the preparation of LPG vessels prior to cargo loading at the terminal. This arrangement not only cements N-KOM’s position as a repair centre for LPG carriers, but also bolsters the Port of Ras Laffan’s competitiveness as a one-stop cargo hub.”

N-KOM dedicates a lot of resources to developments such as these, which give it the flexibility to cope with the ever-changing demand of today’s maritime industry. To continue meeting its customer’s needs and providing tailor-made solutions, the company focuses on people development and technical skill competency, supported by some of the most technologically advanced equipment and specialists from various trades as partners along the value-chain.

To date, N-KOM has been certified by Det Norkse Veritas (DNV) for ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, ASME (U,U2,S,PP) and National Board R stamps, which allows it to offer fabrication, installation and maintenance services to structures such as wellhead platforms, topsides, jackets, and jack-up drilling rigs. It is also working towards receiving API certification, which will allow it to expand these services even further.

Whilst the global shipping market seems depressed, on a regional level the LNG and offshore markets look promising. The full extent of this market is clear as N-KOM recently achieved a new milestone in its 18-months of operation with a record seven consecutive LNG dry-dockings completed in May. With 32 LNG repairs already concluded and over a dozen more expected to be carried out this year, N-KOM is rapidly growing its reputation as a centre of excellence for LNG carrier repairs.

“With the strong offshore market presence in the Arabian Gulf, there is a huge captive market for the repair, fabrication and maintenance of offshore structures. This is expected to grow as offshore – operations in the region continue on an upward trend. A dedicated area for these types of works is positioned within the integrated Erhama Bin Jaber Al Jalahma Shipyard complex. N-KOM is also in the process of having a Q-Max and a Handymax-sized floating dock constructed to enhance its scheduling flexibility and efficiency. Later this year, the shipyard will commence operations of a facility for the repair of small ships (<20,000dwt) within the complex,” notes Mr Abu Bakar.

Global energy demand is still expected to increase substantially in the next decade, and as a home to many major exporters of oil and gas resources the Middle East will play a crucial role in supporting this demand, especially the State of Qatar. N-KOM has already established itself as a comprehensive provider to the marine and offshore industry that forms part of the regional oil and gas supply chain. Many of the world’s LNG carriers are already servicing the Arabian Gulf, and in the next two years the majority of these are expected to become due for dry-docking and general repairs.

Considering the future, Mr Abu Bakar is actively looking at this far bigger picture, in terms of the growth of the region, and how N-KOM can contribute towards this: “We would not be where we are today without the tremendous support from our valued partners, clients and vendors. While we continue to develop the Erhama Bin Jaber Al Jalahma Shipyard as a maritime centre of excellence, we need to see how best we can ride on and support the developmental wave in Qatar – be it through onshore or industrial engineering projects, as every one of us has a role to play in realising Qatar’s National Vision 2030,” he concludes.

Nakilat-Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd
Services: Qatar’s premiere shipyard centre of excellence