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Ro-ro clients keep Oresund yard busy

OresundOresund Drydocks (ODD), Sweden’s largest ship repair yard, enjoyed generally positive fortunes in 2021, as the number of vessels handled, and the turnover generated, remained at a similar level to 2020.


Chief commercial officer Magnus Malmstrom says: “In the end, last year was better than expected as we received a number of significant orders in late autumn which kept us busy in the final quarter. Typically, over the year we handled mostly class dockings and Ballast Water Treatment System retrofits, which have now become an almost standard item.”


Unlike some previous years, ODD did not receive any conversion contracts to help boost turnover. Nonetheless, Malmstrom reflects: “It was quite a successful year compared with the past, and certainly better than looked like being the case at one point. We were well supported by the Baltic ro-ro and ro-pax operators like Viking Line, Finnlines and Destination Gotland, but also saw a healthy level of tanker work.”


During 2020, ODD was largely occupied by an ice class conversion on the ro-ro vessel Finbo Cargo which kept the yard busy despite the disruption caused by the pandemic. “This meant, however, that we did not have the capacity to go out and market ourselves as we normally would,” Malmstrom points out. “In 2021 we were able to get going again and pick up some useful orders from ro-ro and tanker owners in particular.”


One of the most notable projects highlighted by ODD was the visit towards the end of the year of the Gotland Mariann, which underwent repair works and a large BTWS installation whilst alongside ODD’s repair quays. The vessel was in the yard for over five weeks, and Malmstrom says: “This was quite a logistically challenging project that required a lot of planning and pre-ordering of components at a time when there were supply chain issues and fast rising prices to contend with. Nonetheless, we rose to these challenges and the vessel sailed away on schedule before Christmas.”


Early 2022 has continued many of the positive trends seen last year with visitors to ODD in January including the Danish ferry Tycho Brahe, and vessels docked by Eckero Line, Viking and Gotland, among others.


Malmstrom says: “We are booked through to mid-March and are having some interesting conversations about a possible future conversion project. It will be a big boost to the yard if it comes to fruition, but we are in any case all set for a better year than 2021, which would represent an excellent performance.”


ODD is currently looking at the possibility of acquiring a new floating dock to enable it to handle larger vessels. The current one at the yard measures 160m x 28m, and the aim is to secure either a newbuild or second-hand floating dock with dimensions of at least 180m x 34m to serve Panamax class vessels.


The investment is strategically important for the long-term future of the shipyard. As Malmstrom points out: “A lot of our ro-ro customers have recently purchased longer vessels and if we want to keep them then we need a bigger dock, otherwise they will go to other yards in Denmark and Poland for example, which have such facilities. The alternative is to focus on smaller vessel sizes where the competition for such work is much tougher.”