The company is also close to appointing a consultant to engineer and supervise the marine works and expects to award the onshore consultancy contract early in the fourth quarter.

In March, Nakilat signed a letter of intent (LoI) with Singapores Keppel Offshore & Marine to develop and manage the

shipyard, which will cover an area of 43 hectares (MEED 24:3:06).

Contractors responded in late August to the Nakilat inquiry, which stated that construction of the yard would be divided into two main contracts, marine and onshore. The marine works package will focus on the dry docks and quays, while the onshore package will primarily cover buildings and infrastructure. Under the proposed tendering schedule, Nakilat is aiming to release bid documents in January 2007 and make awards by

mid-2007.

The yards initial development, covering phases 1 and 2, calls for the construction of: two dry docks one 66 metres by 360 metres and the other 80 metres by 380 metres; a floating dock 36 metres by 230 metres; six wet berths with a total length of 2,300 metres; lay-down and fabrication areas; and workshops and offices. Completion is set for late 2009.

Under its LoI, Keppel is assisting Nakilat in the development phase, including design, and the projects start-up. For the third phase, operations, it will form a joint venture with Nakilat to manage the facility.

The facility will handle vessels up to the size of ultra-large crude carriers (ULCCs). About one-fifth of its business is expected to come from Nakilats own fleet, which by 2015 is set to number more than 50 liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, as well as sulphur and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vessels. The rest will be secured from the international market.

Further phases are planned at the shipyard, which would give Nakilat the capability to fabricate offshore structures and build small ships.

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