Mr Luo Yi Min, Party Secretary of Communist Party of China (CPC) Nantong Committee, graced the occasion as the Guest-of-Honour, joined by more than 300 guests.
The ceremony was landmarked by the sale of two 45-tonne Azimuth Stern Drive tugboats to Kuwaiti owner, Arabian Gulf Mechanical Services & Contracting (AGMS). The tugboats will be delivered in September this year.
The inauguration ceremony also celebrated the keel laying of two Anchor Handling Tug/Supply (AHTS) vessels for Whitesea Shipping & Supply LLC (WSS), company based in United Arab Emirates and a harbour tugboat for Singapore-based Keppel Smit Towage Pte Ltd (KST).
These vessels are among the 18 offshore support vessels and tugboats that Keppel Nantong is currently building for a broad spectrum of worldwide clientele. The yard has a capacity to build up to 25 such vessels on its 16-hectare site.
Mr Choo Chiau Beng, Chairman and CEO of Keppel O&M, said, “The addition of this Nantong facility has increased Keppel’s newbuilding capacity in meeting the growing demand for specialised vessels to serve the offshore field development market and growth in Liquefied Natural Gas terminals and maritime ports.
"China is attractive as a cost efficient and competitive shipbuilding centre. We intend to increase our investment in Nantong and optimise Keppel Nantong’s facilities to take on more and higher value projects."
Acquired by Keppel O&M in May 2005, the principal activities of Keppel Nantong are in the engineering and construction of specialised vessels such as AHTS vessels and tugboats.
Through the transfer of expertise and technology from Keppel Singmarine, with its 120 years of providing quality services in specialised shipbuilding, Keppel Nantong achieved its initial production targets after over one year of operations. It was also awarded the Industrial Excellence Award by the Nantong Municipal People’s Government in March 2007. This is an annual award to recognise outstanding enterprises which are forward-looking and have made significant contributions to Nantong’s economic development.
Last month, the Gangzha District’s Administration of Work Safety Department chose Keppel Nantong for its District Safety Meeting, where the yard’s Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) practices and policies were shared with companies alike as best practices.
Keppel Nantong Shipyard is located along the Yangtze River, within proximity to supporting industries in the Municipality of Nantong, 100 km north-west of Shanghai.
Keppel O&M’s near market, near customer strategy is bolstered by a global network of 20 yards in the Asia Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, the Caspian Sea, Middle East and the North Sea regions. Integrating the experience and expertise of its yards worldwide, the group aims to be the provider of choice and partner in solutions for the offshore and marine industry.
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