LNG vessel docked and upgraded for charter at regas import terminal in Bangladesh
While it has completed about 220 gas carrier repairs in its eight years of operation, Qatar’s Nakilat-Keppel Offshore & Marine (N-KOM) continues to build its reputation, marking a milestone in March when it docked its first floating storage regasification unit (FSRU). Nakilat chief executive Abdullah Al Sulaiti said the drydocking of the FSRU Excelerate showed the “remarkable progress” the Erhama Bin Jaber Al Jalahma Shipyard has made since it first began operations in 2011. N-KOM is a joint venture between leading Qatari gas shipping line Nakilat and Singapore’s Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd.
Owned by US-based Excelerate Energy, 138,000-m3 Excelerate underwent maintenance and upgrades while in drydock, including the installation of a ballast water treatment system (BWTS). It is one of 10 BWTS installations completed by N-KOM to date.
Among the other modifications on Excelerate were upgrades of the quick-release stopper fairleads, quick-release hook, sewage treatment systems and increased admissible cargo tank pressure equipment.
After completing repairs at N-KOM, Excelerate sailed to Bangladesh and was commissioned as the country’s second LNG import terminal, owned by Summit LNG Terminal Co Ltd (Summit).
Nakilat, the shipping arm of Qatar, also owns its own FSRU under a joint venture agreement with Excelerate Energy. Exquisite operates at the Engro Elengy terminal (EETL) in Pakistan’s Port Qasim in Karachi. Nakilat acquired a 55% interest in Exquisite in 2018. With an offtake capacity of 150,900 m3, Exquisite currently fulfills as much as 15% of Pakistan’s domestic daily gas requirements.
The drydocking of Excelerate was just one of 120 marine and offshore projects completed in the first 10 months of this year. While the shipyard supports Nakilat’s fleet of 74 LNG and LPG carriers, N-KOM also services vessels from other owners and operators such as Maran Gas, Dynacom Tankers, Shipping Corp of India (SCI) and MOL Tankship Management Asia. N-KOM has completed repairs to 25 gas ships and 14 very large crude carriers this year.
The shipyard has seen strong demand for scrubber installations, fuel system modifications and BWTS installations to comply with IMO regulations.
In June, N-KOM completed general drydocking maintenance repairs and upgrades to Al Khor, an LNG carrier chartered by Qatargas and operated by Japan’s NYK LNG Shipmanagement. Built in 1997 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), Al Khor has an overall length of 297.5 m, beam of 45.75 m and a capacity of 137,354 m3, with steam turbine propulsion and five Moss-type cargo containment tanks.
Besides regular maintenance, Al Khor underwent water ballast steel renewal and tank treatment, hull treatment, and several surveys and endurance tests during the drydocking period.
All of the repairs and renewals were performed at the Erhama bin Jaber Al Jalahma Shipyard, where Al Khor was previously drydocked for repair in 2014 and 2016.
To handle some of the world’s largest vessels, N-KOM has three Q-Max-sized docks: two graving docks, with capacities of 350,000 and 450,000 dwt respectively, and one floating dock with a lifting capacity of 120,000 tonnes. For topside repairs, the shipyard has quays and piers with a total berthing capacity of 3,150 m, specialised workshops and cryogenic cleanrooms, enabling it to handle drydocking, maintenance and membrane repairs for LNG carriers. To service smaller vessels, the shipyard plans to add a new handsize floating dock, with a length of 163 m, beam of 26 m and lifting capacity of 6,250 tonnes.
In 2015, N-KOM solidified its presence in the Middle East shiprepair market, retrofitting the 266,000-m3 Q-Max LNG carrier Rasheeda with an MAN M-type electronically controlled gas injection (ME-GI) system. As a result of the conversion, Rasheeda became the first vessel with low-speed marine diesel engines to be converted to burn LNG as a fuel.