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Austal has announced the expansion of
its vessel support and maintenance
presence in the Middle East following
the award of a technical services
contract with Saudi Arabian ferry
operator The Maritime Company for
The contract award follows the recent
opening of Austal service hubs in Egypt and
Oman, and a new regional headquarters in
the United Arab Emirates (Dubai).
Under the contract, Austal will provide
rapid response to technical issues related
to three large Austal vehicle ferries,
including spare parts supply, for a period
of up to five years.
Austal Chief Operating Officer Andrew
Bellamy commented: "Strategically
this is another important step in
growing Austal's presence in the Middle
"With similar contracts also in place in
Oman, Egypt, Malta and Trinidad and
Tobago, Austal's continues to establish
itself as a major provider of worldwide
vessel maintenance and management."
The three vessels include the Kingdom
of Saudi Arabia's two 69-metre Ro-Pax
ferries 'Jazan' and 'Farasan', delivered in
2009, and 56-metre vehicle ferry 'Fares 1',
delivered in 2002.
With the capacity to carry 650
passengers, 50 cars and 15 trucks, 'Jazan'
and 'Farasan' were part of a group of four
Austal vehicle-passenger ferries ordered by
the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Finance in
2007. The 88-metre 'Riyadh' and 'Cairo'
were delivered to Saudi Arabia in
December 2008 and later gifted to the
Egyptian Government to improve ferry
services across the Red Sea.
Austal personnel recently completed
the annual docking of the two 69-metre
vessels, which was performed at Saudi
Arabia's Jeddah Shipyard. The docking
included vessel modifications and
preventative maintenance. Austal is also
responsible for the maintenance and
technical management of Egypt's two
Earlier this year Austal announced a
vessel maintenance services contract with
Oman's National Ferries Company (NFC)
for the maintenance of seven large high
speed craft, including two Oman Coast
Guard rescue boats. Notably, five of these
vessels were built at other shipyards.
Meanwhile in Trinidad and Tobago,
Austal Service has commenced its
five-year comprehensive maintenance
and support services program for the
Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard's six
new 30-metre fast patrol craft. The
program includes scheduled planned and
preventative maintenance support,
unscheduled maintenance, management
and performance of annual surveys
and maintenance periods as well as
shore-based engineering support.
Austal expands Middle East ser vice and support presence
'Farasan', a 69-metre Ro-Pax ferry, was delivered by Austal in 2009. The ferry is part of an Austal-
built fleet requiring expanded vessel support and maintenance presence in the Middle East
\Topaz Marine recently confirmed the
acquisition of the multipurpose support
vessel (MPSV) 'Ocean Commander'
The vessel has been renamed 'Topaz
Commander' and joins Topaz Marine's
fleet of around 100 vessels, reinforcing
Topaz's position as one of the top ten
largest offshore vessel operations in
Built in 1999 in Myklebust Norway as
an 84-metre UT 745 platform supply
vessel (PSV), the addition of a 50-tonne
knuckle boom crane makes the 'Topaz
Commander' a highly competent MPSV.
She is classed as a DP2 vessel and features
twin thrusters aft, a tunnel thruster and
drop-down azimuthing thruster forward.
At 4,263DWT and 840m² of clear deck
space, 'Topaz Commander' is among the
largest vessels in Topaz's fleet.
Topaz Commander will immediately
commence work under a contract with
ADAMS Offshore Services Limited in
Vietnam. The vessel acquisition was
financed in part through a term-loan
facility with Standard Chartered Bank.
The acquisition of the 'Topaz
Commander' signals Topaz's continued
commitment to its fleet expansion
programme. In addition to the 'Topaz
Commander', more than ten new-build
vessels will join the Topaz fleet during
2010, among them four anchor-handling
tug supply vessels (AHTS) with dual
bow-thrusters custom built for the Saudi
Topaz acquires multipurpose support vessel
September 2010 WORK BOAT WORLD
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