Capable of repairing anything afloat
Jeddah Shipyard is located in Jeddah Port on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coastline and is the only ISO and ABS certified repair yard in the region. The Blagha Holding Group, a maritime solutions group that incorporates companies serving many different aspects of the marine industry including HSC operation and port handling, founded Jeddah Shipyard as a place that vessels in the Red Sea can receive high quality repair and maintenance services. The yard now consists of two floating docks: one panamax sized measuring 200 metres by 33 metres, the other smaller at 150 metres by 25 metres. They are supported by an array of workshops for mechanical engineering, steel fabrication, piping fabrication, electrical, out fitting works, blasting and painting.
Though it has only two docks, Jeddah Shipyard pushes its facilities by working on multiple projects at a time. Until recently, for example, it was working on three tankers and two tugs concurrently; at the time of writing it is working on twotugs, a passenger ship, and the RO-RO ship Dorrat Jeddah. Yard general manager Ezzat Hamza briefly talks about the 113-metre Dorrat Jeddah repair: “It is a full blasting and painting job as well as repairing the tail shaft. The starboard has damage to about 20 tonnes worth of steel and we are fabricating replacement sections to fix that as well. Once that has been completed, we will complete a paint job to ensure it is seaworthy. Jeddah Shipyard usually handles many small projects and this is a standard example of what we do.”
Jeddah Shipyard’s primary business is ship repair but it has in the past also engaged in minor conversion work aboard vessels. Its wide ranging skills mean it is able to undertake almost any repair and minor conversion work required by clients, though it has close relationships with specialist companies that it can subcontract niche jobs to if necessary. Consequently, vessels of any type can be accommodated at the yard.
One challenge faced by the yard, however, are the limits imposed by the physical size of the Panamax dock. Its 200 by 33 metre dimension and 7.5 metre draft mean that a large portion of the Red Sea’s traffic – which often include post-Panamax and upwardly sized tankers – are unable to fit. Nonetheless, it considers its location one of its strongest assets and the yard’s engineers are willing to take the facilities to its limits when necessary to complete an essential project.
An example of this is the Container Vessel QIFJ: “An emergency repair was needed because the vessel suffered from massive leaking from its tail shaft,” Ezzat says. “At 211 metres the ship is longer than our big dock and at 32.2 metres wide barely narrow enough to fit in. There was very little space of manoeuvring errors and other spatial accidents. We took a very big risk in docking it but successfully did so and carried out the major repair work needed to return it to sailing conditions, including removing the tail shaft and replacing the bearings that imported from Denmark. It was a challenge but one that paid off.”
Emergency cases such as this form a significant percentage of Jeddah Shipyard’s work. As the only ISO and ABS accredited yard in the region, smaller vessels requiring emergency work are directed toward it by insurance terms and its proximity compared to yards in Turkey, for example. As a result, the Saudi docks have become well practiced in delivering high quality, efficient repair jobs.
Talking about the yard’s parent group, Blagha Holding Group, Ezzat is very positive about the advantages in being part of the organisation: “It is really a very large and good quality group encompassing many activities. Not just ship repair but shipping, freight forwarding, port handling, HSC Operation, and marine consultancy as well. Recently the group acquired Dammam Shipyard from Dena Marine for the next ten years and this will add an entirely new skill set to what we are capable of.”
The addition of a dedicated fabrication yard nearby opens up many possibilities for Jeddah Shipyard such as improved efficiency and flexibility. As the Red Sea becomes increasingly busy, the prospects for the yard are many. “In particular a large number of rigs are expected to begin working in the area and that offers us a very good chance to take on new projects,” explains Ezzat. “We are looking to develop our facilities in order to handle large rigs and it is our target to grab as many of those repair and maintenance jobs as possible within the next two or three years. Beyond that, what the future holds will be up to Blagha Holding Group. Our docks are considered small so perhaps a new dock will be required but that depends on the resources available to our parent. We are confident, however, that our business will continue to be as strong in the future as it is today.”
Certified Red Sea repair yard
Strong parent group
Highly efficient work