AD Ports and Premier Marine in joint venture to offer drydock services

Safeen Drydocks at Khalifa Port will also provide afloat repairs, ship building and refurbishment

From left: Hemant Tandon, managing director of Premier Marine Engineering Services and Capt Ammar Al Shaiba, acting chief executive of the maritime cluster and Safeen Group at AD Ports Group, sign an agreement forming the Safeen Drydocks joint venture. Wam
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AD Ports Group, the operator of industrial cities and free zones, and Premier Marine Engineering Services, a UAE-based shipyard company specialising in ship building and repair services to marine and offshore industries, have collaborated to meet growing demand from regional and international operators.

The joint venture, Safeen Drydocks, has been structured as a 51 per cent ownership by AD Ports Group and 49 per cent by Premier Marine, according to a report by state news agency Wam on Sunday.

The new enterprise will offer services such as drydocking, afloat repairs, ship building and refurbishment.

The Safeen Drydocks hub will be located at Khalifa Port and include a 45,000-square metre shipyard and repair facility, a 350-metre quay wall for vessel afloat repair, and a floating drydock for vessel maintenance and refurbishment.

“The establishment of Safeen Drydocks is a milestone development for Safeen Group as it significantly broadens our scope of services and ability to serve the regional maritime industry,” Capt Ammar Al Shaiba, acting chief executive of the maritime cluster and Safeen Group at AD Ports Group, said.

The latest move comes after Khalifa Port’s previous Dh4 billion ($1 billion) expansion was inaugurated by President Sheikh Mohamed in December.

That included the development of the port’s South Quay, Khalifa Port Logistics and Abu Dhabi terminals.

Khalifa Port has grown to 8.63 square kilometres from 2.43 square kilometres, while its quay wall has been extended to 12.5km from 2.3km.

It now provides 21 berths and offers bespoke services for strategic industries, with an estimated value of Dh20.4 billion.

Opened in December 2012, Khalifa Port was developed from a stretch of reclaimed land 4km out to sea.

It now serves more than 25 container shipping lines with direct links to more than 70 international destinations.

The floating dry dock at Safeen Drydocks is expected to begin operations next month, while the shipyard has already begun work with the construction of two barges for a UAE-based client, the Wam report said.

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Once fully operational, the hub will be operated by Safeen Drydocks and be fully equipped to accommodate a range of vessel types, including tankers, bulk vessels, container ships, offshore vessels and jack-ups, the report added.

Through the new JV, AD Ports Group will contribute quay space at Khalifa Port for the development and operations of the new services hub, while Premier Marine will help customers build, repair and maintain vessels and other maritime assets.

Together, the two entities will serve the needs of not only Safeen Group’s maritime fleet but also of regional and international clients spanning the shipping and offshore maritime sectors, Wam report said.

“Through our partnership, we aim to achieve great success within the shipbuilding industry,” Hemant Tandon, managing director of Premier Marine Engineering Services, said.

AD Ports Group reported an 8.5 per cent increase in its first-quarter net profit as strong business performance and the company's acquisitions boosted revenue. Net profit attributable to owners for the January-March period increased to Dh330.9 million.

The company’s revenue grew 73 per cent annually to more than Dh1.8 billion in the first quarter, “driven by the robust performance” of its maritime, economic cities and free zones, and ports clusters, as well as the acquisitions made in 2022 and the first quarter of 2023 – including Transmar and TCI in Egypt as well as Divetech, ASCL, Safeen Subsea and Al Eskan Al Jamae in Abu Dhabi, the company said.

The maritime cluster reported sales growth of 259 per cent yearly to Dh915 million, on the back of capacity increases, wider service offerings and increased activity in new business segments, AD Ports said.

Updated: June 26, 2023, 4:47 PM