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GIBRALTAR REPAIR YARD LOOKS TO BRIGHT FUTURE

Friday, October 16, 2020 

Ship repair activity at Gibdock has continued to be rock solid, despite uncertainties through the first three quarters of 2020 relating to Covid-19 and Brexit, with occupancy levels remaining high, new contracts being agreed and scheduled dry dockings booked into 2021.

MD Richard Beards said: “The outlook is set fair. In 2020, being part of a tight-knit business community where fast communications enable rapid response times and the immediate implementation of any changes to health or travel regulations has also proved advantageous. We are in constant dialogue with the Port Authority, and we have frequent contact with Gibraltar Civil Contingencies, the Director of Public Health, local agents, subcontractors, hotels and transport providers.”

Beards identifies potentially greater revenue streams in LNG-related projects and renewables business for the months ahead, believing that Gibdock’s location at the gateway to the Mediterranean remains a key advantage. Repeat business included in forward bookings: “shows that customers continue to put reliability, quality of work and on-time redelivery at the top of their priority lists”.

Beards points out that the yard's agility and close ties with the local ship agency network mean that Gibraltar is well-established as a safe and efficient location for crew changes. “This is an added benefit for our customers because they can rely on our safe, robust protocols and, of course, good links by air with the UK,” he said.

Recently completed projects include a diverse range of repairs and conversions. A number of OSVs have been repaired and upgraded over the summer. Meanwhile, works were carried out on board the seismic survey vessels Oceanic Sirius and SW Empress for Bergen-based Shearwater GeoServices. 

Environmental retrofits, including the installation of scrubbers and ballast water treatment systems, comprise an important and continuing revenue stream. The shipyard successfully completed engine conversions on two Balearia-owned ro-pax vessels, the 950-passenger Nápoles and the 1,000-passenger Bahama Mama, from conventional to LNG propulsion. The shipyard worked closely with MAN PrimeServ and Caterpillar respectively on these two projects. 

“We are encouraged by forward bookings into next year,” continued Beards, “and Gibraltar’s growing importance as a bunkering hub means that LNG infrastructure is expanding fast. The power station here already uses LNG, and we expect more LNG-related port calls, more service craft and more specialised bunkering vessels.”

Operations Director John Taylor said: “Even though Covid has challenged us at times, we continue to invest in the yard’s infrastructure." In particular, he cites a close cooperation with Wolffkran Germany/Switzerland to renew the jib of Gibdock’s number 12 crane, located on the 400m south mole.

“Of course, Brexit adds to the uncertainties of the day. However, we see a successful conclusion to this – we will still be here working as hard as possible to meet the expectations of our clients and stakeholders as diligently as possible,” concluded Beards.

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