PIRACY VICTIM “MAERSK ALABAMA” FIRST VESSEL TO UNDERGO REPAIRS
Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) has leased land to Topaz Marine Engineering Division (TMED), one of the Middle East’s market leaders for marine engineering services, for the company to establish the first dedicated ship repair facility at ADPC’s Free Port next to Zayed Port.
Located close to Abu Dhabi’s main shipping lanes the new facility is ideally placed to serve vessels operating within or passing through Abu Dhabi waters. It has been set up to provide a support to the Abu Dhabi and UAE marine sector and complements ADPC’s service offerings in the Free Port
The new facility is the result of a brand new deal between ADPC and TMED. Both companies signed a one-year contract with the option to extend for up to three years. Under the terms of the contract, ADPC is leasing the berth and an adjacent area of land at its Free Port to TMED which is providing the floating dock, necessary staff and repair expertise.
TMED is employing a highly skilled ship repair team of over 150 people to operate the new facility which offers a comprehensive range of world-class services. These include afloat repair, workshop and underwater repairs, fuel injection, governor, marine automation, instrumentation, hydraulic and boiler services, as well as transmission, gear boxes, turbochargers and numerous other specialities.
The first ship to undergo repairs was the “Maersk Alabama”. The container vessel is best-known for being hijacked by pirates near Somalia in 2009. The 2013 film “Captain Phillips” starring Tom Hanks in the leading role was inspired by the event and became a worldwide box office hit.
“We are very pleased about the establishment of this new ship repair facility and very proud to have welcomed the famous ‘Maersk Alabama’ as our first customer. The new facility completes our offerings in the Free Port and will significantly facilitate trade. The location of the facility is ideal as it is close to Abu Dhabi’s main shipping channel and offers quick turnaround times,” says Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO, ADPC.
Geoff Taylor, MD of Topaz Marine added: “We are very proud to fly the flag for ship repair in Abu Dhabi and could not have found a better location than the ADPC Free Port in which to set up this enterprise. From our first discussions until the opening of the facility, ADPC have supported us at every level and we are honoured to be associated with such an esteemed and forward thinking organisation”.
Established in the Middle East in 1973 Nico International, a part of the Topaz Group of companies, is one of the region’s best known and best respected ship repair companies with dry-docking facilities for smaller vessels in Abu Dhabi and Fujairah with additional repair shops in Dubai Maritime City (DMC), and Dubai Al Quoz. The group also operates a ship building yard, Nico Craft, Nico Craft, in Abu Dhabi with a sub branch in Fujairah.