Drydocks World, which is owned by the government conglomerate Dubai World, is one of the largest shipyards in the world. Jeff Topping / The National
Drydocks World, which is owned by the government conglomerate Dubai World, is one of the largest shipyards in the world. Jeff Topping / The National

Drydocks World weighs warships and yachts venture

Drydocks World is considering a joint venture to build warships, yachts and support vessels in South East Asia with the international investment house Privinvest Holding.

Yesterday, Drydocks World, based in Dubai, said it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Privinvest aimed at launching a design and construction company that would "specialise in building warships and support vessels in South East Asia in general and Indonesia in particular."

No other details on the structure of the joint venture were available.

"This MoU further enhances our strategic business direction and will create the required synergies to reaffirm our global foothold by offering specialised high-end engineering, designing and construction services jointly with Privinvest Group," said Khamis Juma Buamim, the chairman of Drydocks World and Maritime World.

"We aim to provide the latest technologies and techniques with enhanced capabilities. We aspire to offer advanced and sophisticated solutions in project management and services to all our customers."

Privinvest Holdings, which is headquartered in Beirut and Abu Dhabi, already has a significant presence in shipbuilding with state-of-the-art construction and design facilities in the Mediterranean, the Arabian Gulf, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

The group has delivered more than 1,600 vessels of varying types and has worked on contracts for more than 30 navies worldwide.

"Our two groups will join forces to become an integrated service provider to the naval and yacht business," said Iskandar Safa, the chief executive of Privinvest Holding. "I am very happy about this agreement because of the complementary elements that each partner brings to the table."

Drydocks World and Privinvest also agreed on a joint venture to provide maintenance, upgrades and refits for large yachts and naval vessels in the UAE and other countries in the Gulf region, according to yesterday's statement. The venture would include other associated services such as specialised technical training.

This is Drydocks World's second South East Asia venture this year. In June, it announced plans for a joint venture between its South East Asian operations and Pacific Carriers, an Asian shipping company owned by the Malaysian tycoon Robert Kuok. Drydocks World owns three ship yards in Indonesia, at Tanjung Uncang on north-western coast of Batam Island.

The new joint venture, DDW-PaxOcean Asia, is based in Singapore with Mr Buamim the chairman of the company.

For Pacific Carriers, the venture expands on its existing shipyard business in China.

"We are delighted to have Drydocks World as a joint venture partner," said Teo Joo Kim, the chairman of Pacific after the signing. "With Pacific Carrier Group's fleet of vessels and Kuok Group's two shipyards in China, coupled with the shipyard facilities and expertise of the joint venture and Drydocks World, I see marvellous opportunity to create value for the benefit of the respective parties."

Drydocks World, which is owned by the government conglomerate Dubai World, is one of the largest shipyards in the world and has maintained, serviced and refurbished more than 1,300 vessels of different types, including naval ships and medium to mega-sized yachts.

It is seeking support from its creditors to restructure US$2.2 billion (Dh8.08bn) of debt it took on to purchase its existing Asian assets in 2007.

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