Busy Navalrocha looks to LNG opportunities
Portugal’s Navalrocha shipyard is eyeing new work in the LPG product carrier and small-scale LNG markets following a busy first half year.
Navalrocha commercial director Sergio Rodrigues said the yard located in the heart of Lisbon Harbour on the north bank of the River Tagus has completed a wide variety of repair and conversion projects so far in 2019.
Contracts have involved livestock carriers, polar expedition vessels, car-ferries, tugboats, cargo-carriers, cruise ships and sailing vessels.
In line with future growth plans Navarocha is also reporting growing numbers of LPG and Product Carrier projects.
“As we look ahead, Navalrocha is increasingly well placed to cater to the LPG Product Carrier and small-scale LNG markets,” said Mr Rodrigues. “Our close proximity to major Portuguese ports including Sines, Leixoes and Aveiro provide a compelling edge. Meanwhile, our competitive rates, fast turnaround times, reliability and growing track record place us in strong stead to capitalise on this expanding market. Earlier this year our long-term client Epic Ship Management booked in for its sixth drydocking in 36-months, with two further projects scheduled for 2019/ 2020. The latest job involving the Epic Croix LPG tanker followed work in 2018 to Epic’s St Vincent LPG carrier. Danish shipping company Ultragas later booked in the Happy Bride LPG carrier.
“The contracts highlight a growing volume of LPG and product carrier work being undertaken at the yard. While the LPG market presents major opportunities for growth we are further targeting the small-scale LNG market, notably bunker vessels compatible with Dock 1.”
In January and February, a flurry of activity helped kickstart the year. One of the yard’s first projects in 2019 involved the Mira livestock vessel owned by El Amira Maritime Agencies Co. January also saw the continuation of work to the Corinthian polar expedition cruise vessel. The Grand Circle Cruise Lines vessel underwent a 40-day project including wet dock repairs. Additional work was completed on Transtejo car ferry Lisbonense.
Further commercial contracts involved pier repair work to the Nordanhav self-unloading cargo carrier owned by Citadel Shipping in Sweden and operated by Thunbalogen Ship Management. In February, the yard also welcomed the Poseidon tugboat to Dock 2. Springtime saw the arrival of the Rolado Mar passenger and ro-ro cargo ship owned by Atlantic Ferries. Later in March Navalrocha secured a 120-day restorative project for the NRP Sagres tall ship and school sailing vessel owned by the Portuguese Navy. Other notable projects in April involved a 10-day drydock for the Castelo de São Jorge Tugboat and Grand Circle Cruise Lines later booked in the Clio cruise ship for its biennial wet dock.
Rounding off the first half of the year Naval Rocha welcomed Sea Dream II yacht-style cruise ship operated by Sea Dream Yacht Club. The luxury cruiser underwent a fast five-day drydock before the 90m Tejo Belem general cargo vessel visited for a 12-day repair project. Further work in May included a 20-day drydocking for the Anjos dredger involving certificate renewal, steel, piping and mechanical work.
However, looking to the second half of 2019, Mr Rodrigues said the yard’s sights remain firmly fixed on key growth markets including LPG repair work.
“While we currently deliver an average of three major LPG projects each year there is capacity for much more. As we continue building strong experience in the LPG and Product Carrier market, we aim to further catapult into the LNG and Chemical Carrier markets, which are now being built to smaller dimensions, making an ideal ﬁt for our operation.”
In order to stimulate greater LNG activity Naval Rocha is also considering investment in cryogenic workshops as part of a broader site expansion plans.
By Jake Frith
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