Nakilat-Keppel Offshore & Marine (N-KOM) recently reached an important milestone when it undertook its 200th LNG vessel repair. Al Khor, chartered by Qatargas and operated by NYK LNG Shipmanagement, completed general drydocking maintenance repairs and upgrades at the Qatari shipyard in June this year.
This was the third time the Moss-type LNG carrier had called into the N-KOM facility for repairs, having previously been drydocked in 2014 and 2016. In addition to regular maintenance work, the vessel also underwent ballast tank steel renewal and treatment, hull treatment, surveys and endurance tests during the drydocking period.
In another significant milestone for the yard, earlier this year, N-KOM welcomed its first repair project involving a Floating, Storage, Regasification Unit (FSRU). This contract is seen as being a further endorsement of its growing reputation as a quality shipyard for gas carrier repairs. The 138,000m3 FSRU Excelerate underwent several modifications as well as the retrofitting of new systems, including a ballast water treatment system. Other significant items of work included the upgrading of quick release stopper fairleads and quick release hooks, installation of sewage treatment units and fitting an increased admissible cargo tank pressure unit.
The first half of 2019 has been busy for N-KOM, and the shipyard reports a 50% increase in shiprepair volumes in comparison to the same period last year. LNG carriers have made up a significant proportion of the workload and in recent months there has also been strong demand from the market for the installation of scrubbers, fuel systems modification and ballast water treatment systems, to ensure compliance with new regulations that will come into force within the next few months. To date, the shipyard has completed eight ballast water treatment system retrofits for various types of vessels, including both LNG and LPG carriers, and expects demand for this type of work to increase further over the second half of 2019. N-KOM also conducted extensive steel repairs on one LNG carrier that docked over the first six months of this year.
Looking ahead, the yard says it plans to further expand its afloat repair business, focusing on engine maintenance work, and has also invested in setting up facilities for improving key staff skills, such as welding. Furthermore, N-KOM recently signed an agreement with STX Korea, which now has its own base within the shipyard, from which it can attend to engine and auxiliary maintenance work on vessels both while they are at anchorage and in voyage.
Since its establishment in 2011, N-KOM has completed a total of more than 950 marine and offshore projects, including over 220 LNG and LPG carrier repairs. N-KOM further reports that its customer satisfaction rating has increased to 92.33% for the first half of 2019, up from 88.65% in 2018.