Bahrain shipyard enjoys 18pc revenue rise

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 March, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 17 March, 1995, 12:00am

THE Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard (ASRY) of Bahrain has reported record revenue totalling US$66.5 million for 1994, up 18 per cent on 1993.

Its operating profit amounted to $7 million, while net profit, after depreciation, interest and loan repayment for the expansion project was $150,000.

Chief executive officer Hans Frisk said the result was particularly impressive as it was achieved during intense competition.

Mr Frisk said the higher turnover, combined with tight control of overheads and greater use of skilled sub-contract labour increasingly available in Bahrain, had helped to lift the bottom line.

The contract labour helped cut the costs of blasting and coating, steel and pipe work, while also improving ASRY's flexibility and overall production capacity.

However, he said there was continuing downward pressure on prices from other yards that were short of work.

Demand for ASRY's services was higher from bigger owners in Greece, Scandinavia, India, Singapore, the United States and Brazil.

Higher turnover was recorded in pipe and steel work, mechanical work and especially in internal tank coating which ASRY had made something of a speciality, Mr Frisk said.

Investment in the latest equipment, including refrigerated dehumidifiers, coupled with specially trained and experienced operators from two sub-contractors (one of them Premator of Sweden) and the flexibility of three docks, had made ASRY prominent in the field of coating of ballast, double bottom and cargo tanks and bulk carrier holds, he said.

Major chemical carrier owners and managers, such as Storli of Norway, had given ASRY much repeat business.

Mr Frisk said inhibitions of some owners in stemming vessels for repairs in the Arabian Gulf during the summer months 'can now be well and truly laid to rest'.

'In the three months to September turnover was well above the average, and in August - arguably the warmest month - ASRY achieved its highest turnover, some 30 per cent above the monthly average for the year,' he said.

Management had always claimed that, given the right equipment and employing men accustomed to working the year round in Asian climates, productivity would remain high and this had now been fully established, Mr Frisk said.

An important development occurred late in the year when the government of Bahrain introduced new regulations making the Bahrain anchorage available to vessels without time limit on payment of a nominal one-time fee.

Although that did not increase demand on ASRY last year, Mr Frisk expected it to do so in the future as owners took advantage of the services and facilities available.

They include Bahrain's location in the Gulf and the large network of air services serving the island.

Mr Frisk said he saw no easing in the competitive climate this year, but was confident the progress made by ASRY would enable the yard to hold its own.