Bahrain Review

Asry Offshore Services ... making a mark

Asry Offshore Services ... making a mark

After rapid growth, AOS set to consolidate this year

In the last four years, the offshore division of Arab Shipbuilding & Repair Yard (Asry) has grown to become the main contributor to the company’s revenue and also the leading choice for small and medium sized rig repair and upgrade projects

AFTER recording strong double-digit growth year-on-year, Asry Offshore Services (AOS), the offshore division of Arab Shipbuilding & Repair Yard (Asry), is now entering a period of consolidation in which the rapid growth of the past four years since inception can ‘bed down’ and solidify its new foundations.

In the last four years, the division has grown from just an idea to become the main contributor to the company’s revenue. During this time, AOS has become the leading choice for small and medium sized rig repair and upgrade projects, carefully avoiding the large-scale projects so as not to over-stretch its capacity.

Andy Shaw, AOS general manager, confirms: “It’s far more important for us that we continue to deliver top quality service, rather than compromising on quality for the sake of larger jobs. So rather than expansion, 2013 will primarily be focusing on consolidation.” In terms of business areas, AOS will be looking even closer at the Saudi Arabian market, which is currently AOS’s most important, and in particular the land rig market there.

“Construction of rigs,” continues Shaw, “is definitely something we have been investigating, having had several enquiries from clients. However, again, it is vital that this endeavour is approached with quality as a priority rather quantity. Therefore, we are researching lift-boat size rigs and land rigs, rather than drilling rigs. The small to medium rig construction segment has enough potential for it to definitely be on our near-future radar.”

The main market in 2012 for AOS was Saudi Arabia – Asry’s proximity and long regional legacy positions it perfectly for the huge wealth of Saudi’s work. Looking at the year as a whole, the division saw a slow start to the year with the first two quarters proving less profitable than expected. However, by the third quarter business levels picked up to target, and the fourth quarter exceeded expectations. The final months of 2012 were some of the yard’s busiest, with more rigs in Asry than ever before. Overall, the offshore division saw a 15 to 20 per cent increase in revenues from 2011, which is unique both in the region and especially internationally.

When looking for an explanation of AOS’s accelerated growth, Shaw breaks it down into three main differentiators from competitors: “Firstly is our physical facility, we have more space than most other yards, which gives us maximum flexibility to accommodate vessels at our client’s convenience. The recent quay wall expansion has only fortified that position. The second advantage Asry has is its depth of experience; vessels have been repaired here for over 35 years and the result of that is in-built efficiencies and a stability of processes that can only come with time.”

“In this business, with this size of operation, you can’t write everything down, there are some operations that just happen automatically by virtue of decades of habit. This streamlining that comes with age gives us a competitive advantage which other yards can’t replicate. The third differentiator is the country we call home. Bahrain’s laws and commercial framework have been designed in a way that is very beneficial for a marine repair complex, because importing resources, be it people, material or equipment, is so easy. As an example, it can take up to 15 days to import equipment into some of our neighbouring countries, and up to 10 to 12 days to bring in specialised employees. However, due to the ‘Business-friendly Bahrain’ strategy, Asry can bring in staff and equipment in more than half that time. When the majority of our clients demand minimum timeframes, which is a very valuable advantage.”

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