Keppel Renames Shipyard Keppel Verolme

Keppel Corporation Limited, through its offshore and marine division, Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd, has completed the acquisition of the entire interest in Dutch offshore repair and conversion shipyard, Verolme Botlek, for a total consideration of EURO 22.4 million (S$38.3 million).

The purchase price was based on a willing buyer-willing seller basis and does not include the land and drydocks which are leased from the Rotterdam Port Authority.

This follows Keppel Corporation's announcement last month that its offshore arm was going to acquire an 85% interest in Verolme Botlek. The increase in stake to 100% resulted after due diligence and final negotiations.

The acquisition is not expected to have any significant impact on Keppel Corporation's earnings and NTA for the year ended 31 December 2002.

Now wholly-owned by Keppel O&M, the yard will take on the Keppel brand under the name of Keppel Verolme BV.

The acquisition is part of Keppel's global expansion into the European offshore and marine sectors, and will enhance Keppel's strategic capability to service customers in the North Sea and West African regions.

Said Mr. Tong Chong Heong, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), "The acquisition of Verolme is in line with our near-market, near-customer strategy which has worked well for us.

"We want to grow Keppel Verolme as the premier yard for the offshore and marine industry in Europe, particularly offering services to the North Sea and West African markets."

Keppel O&M's global network of yards now covers major oil and gas fields in Gulf of Mexico, Brazil/West Africa, Middle East, Central Asia and Asia Pacific.

Said M.r Mannfred J. van der Wal, Managing Director of Keppel Verolme, "Verolme is an established yard in Rotterdam with good facilities. We have the widest graving dock in Europe measuring 90m wide, enabling the yard to undertake the repair and conversion of some of the world's largest semi-submersibles."

The yard is currently busy with the repairs and upgrades of several jack-ups and ships. It has recently won a contract from Van Oord ACZ for the conversion of a bulk carrier into the world's largest flexible fall pipe vessel.

Reputed in both offshore conversions and marine repairs, the yard covers 54 hectares in Rotterdam's Botlek area. Boasting three drydocks up to 500,000dwt and good workshop and craneage facilities, its location in the Port of Rotterdam offers convenient access to both the North Sea and Western and Central Europe.

Including Keppel Verolme, Keppel will now have 15 yards in USA, Brazil, Azerbaijan, Philippines, UAE, Norway, Netherlands and Singapore.