VESSEL REVIEW | French shipbuilder to receive two 1,450-tonne floating drydocks

Photo: Mammoet

Zamil Shipyards, located at the Persian Gulf port of Dammam in eastern Saudi Arabia, has completed the construction of two massive floating drydocks in a series for Constructions Mecaniques de Normandie (CMN), a French shipbuilder that specialises in vessels for the naval, renewables, and luxury yacht markets.

Each of the two floating docks has a length of 85 metres, a beam of 34 metres, a height of 11 metres, and a displacement of approximately 1,450 tonnes. These facilities will be used by CMN for the maintenance and the repair of naval vessels to be carried out locally by Zamil Shipyards – a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s Zamil Offshore Services Company as well as the prime local shipbuilding and ship repair partner of CMN in the country.

The floating docks were supplied by Zamil to CMN as part of a SAR1.8 billion (US$600 million) ship construction and maintenance agreement that was signed by the two companies in 2018. The agreement called for CMN to transfer technology to Zamil and to aid in the further development of the existing shipbuilding capabilities in Saudi Arabia, particularly in support of the defence and security requirements of the kingdom.

Photo: Mammoet

Although they are capable of accommodating a wide variety of vessels thanks to their massive size, the two floating docks will initially be used to provide repair and maintenance support for the 19 new high-speed interceptor boats that are being built locally by Zamil Shipyards to a design developed by CMN.

Slated for use by the Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF), these 32-metre-long craft will be the first vessels of their kind to be manufactured in Saudi Arabia in line with the goal of the kingdom to increase local content in shipbuilding. The use of the drydocks will help ensure that the RSNF will always have access to dedicated maintenance support facilities that are compatible with the highly specialised craft, thus resulting in fewer and shorter downtimes for the entire fleet.

A further 20 units of the same RSNF interceptor series will be built by CMN at its yard in Cherbourg in north-western France under the terms of the same newbuilding contract signed with Zamil. However, as with their Saudi-built sisters, all future maintenance work on these craft will be carried out at Zamil’s facilities near the Port of Dammam and will also utilise the two recently completed floating drydocks.

Following their completion at Zamil, the floating docks were launched into the water via an innovative float-off operation performed by the local branch of heavy transport specialist Mammoet.

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85-metre Floating Drydocks
Type of vessel:Floating drydocks
Flag:Saudi Arabia
Owner:Constructions Mecaniques de Normandie, France
Operator:Constructions Mecaniques de Normandie, France
Builder:Zamil Shipyards, Saudi Arabia
Hull construction material:Steel
Superstructure construction material:Steel
Deck construction material:Steel
Length overall:85 metres
Beam:34 metres
Depth:11 metres
Displacement:1,450 tonnes

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