Niche segments give ST Engineering cause for optimism
Shiprepair & Maintenance 4th Quarter 2019
At present, there is cautious optimism in Singapore’s shiprepair and conversion sector, suggests ST Engineering. Ng Sin Chan, the company’s president of marine, comments: “Singapore is considered a preferred location for conversion work, due to its strategic location and global recognition as a world class repair centre, with an excellent ecosystem to support the industry. In the commercial segment, though, we see that demand is generally lacking.”
Overall the volume of work carried out by ST Engineering at its Singapore yard this year is around the same as in 2018. Nonetheless there are some very positive signs in certain niche segments where ST Engineering is traditionally strong, and superyachts are one of these. “Due to increased traffic in the region, superyacht prospects abound. Captains of superyachts tend to keep an eye out for yards like ours with capabilities and a good track record,” Ng says.
ST Engineering plans to further develop this line of business by providing an enhanced quality topside painting service. Additionally, it will focus on improving skills in yacht painting and carpentry to keep pace with demand in this segment. The company also plans to upgrade one of its workshops to provide a fully enclosed environment where temperature, humidity, dust and other factors can be controlled to improve the quality of topside painting.
A number of superyacht projects have already been completed this year. As well as general drydocking work, these have included HVAC troubleshooting and services; GRP hull modifications; overhauling satellite mast equipment; top side painting; and the replacement of lounge windows.
“Having a synchrolift with accessible covered workshops enables us to provide a sheltered area for yachts where we can carry out work in a protected environment, that enhances the finished quality,” Ng adds.
Another positive trend noted by ST Engineering is growing demand in the seismic survey and research vessel segment. One notable project recently undertaken by the yard involved the retrofit of a platform support vessel (PSV) so that it can operate as a seismic node vessel.
The scope of work for this project included the fabrication and installation of a node handling block and node storage system; modification and installation of the living quarters; conversion of the existing mud tank to a node storage compartment; modification and re-configuration of the HVAC system; cabling for the power and seismic system; and fitting owner supplied seismic equipment and assisting with commissioning.
A notable upcoming project involves the drydocking and retrofit of a trailing suction hopper dredger, underlining ST Engineering’s reputation as one of the leading repair yards for vessels of this type. In this case the work requires the renewal of the hopper steel and bottom doors. The dredger is expected to remain with ST Engineering for 60 days, including 35 days in dock. “Backed by decades of experience with a wide range of dredgers, we have established a reputation, not only for our ability to rectify problems with innovative customised solutions, but also for our ability to deliver on time,” Ng says.