Western Shipyard boosting its vessel repair capacity: second dock for Panamax vessels soon to be commissioned
The roster of docks operated by the Western Shipyard (WSY) Group of Companies has been enlarged with the addition of a second floating dock for the repairs of Panamax-type vessels. It has been towed to its permanent position and will be ready to accept vessels shortly. These changes signify that the completion of phase one of the infrastructure development in Malkų Bay is approaching in strides.
Floating dock No. 170 that was purchased from a ship repair company in Riga at the end of last year is already at its permanent location next to PD-12, the largest floating dock in the Baltics, which is also owned by the WSY Group of Companies.
At this moment, the 201-metre long and 35-metre wide dock PD-170 with a bearing capacity of 30,000 tons is in the final stage of repair. The dock is due to accept the first vessel for repair in December this year already.
With all three available docks – PD-12, PD-170, and dock No. 219, formerly the largest and currently the smallest dock – put into operation, the company’s capacity will increase exponentially, and given the possibility to accept more vessels for modernisation and repair, WSY will further consolidate its position on the European ship repair market and will be able to compete with the major shipyard such a high degree of success.
The operation to build floating dock PD-170 has been supervised and its successful completion assured by the Seaport Captain’s Service.
“It is a unique project that has been successfully brought to fruition thanks to efforts of many people. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all of them. Placed in its permanent position, the dock is a key highlight demonstrating the shift in Malkų Bay, how it is opening up for new possibilities and prospects. Until now, the old quays and the inadequate depth would limit the stevedoring processes, preventing the seaport companies from fully utilising their available stevedoring and technological potential. We can rejoice that the work to increase the depth of the Malkų Bay water area down to 14.5 metres has already been completed, and a number of quays used by the resident companies are currently under reconstruction,” said Algis Latakas, Director General of the Klaipėda State Seaport Authority.
At this time, the second phase of the reconstruction of rented quays is scheduled to kick off. The reconstruction is necessary to be able to repair and dock incoming large-tonnage ships, because the length and the depths of the quays, which were built over 50 years ago, no longer satisfy the trends and needs, as well as the parameters of modern vessels. Highly significant from the technological and commercial point of view, the changes will help attract more business and generate added value for the Klaipėda Seaport.
In the words of Arnoldas Šileika, Director General of the Western Shipyard Group of Companies, the millions invested, the hard and responsible work, and the combined efforts made in association with the Klaipėda State Seaport Authority (KSSA) are taking the maritime engineering industry in Lithuania to a next level.
“Today, we are observing the long-awaited changes; we can see the change taking place within the territory of the WSY Group of Companies, the growing opportunities, and the broadening horizon full of new prospects that we are determined to seize. The improvement in the Malkų Bay infrastructure will definitely bring benefits both to the WSY Group of Companies and the stevedoring companies at the seaport, as well as the people who work there. Being able to accept larger vessels for repair and stevedoring will boost our appeal in the eyes of the clients, which will lead to a wealth of new orders and work for our people, as well as new jobs. The world is changing, the technological processes in business are moving forward, the competition is becoming increasingly fierce; that is why we must remember that we cannot relax, because not every change we have planned has been implemented yet. I give my sincere thanks to the Klaipėda State Seaport Authority, which has granted financial resources for the development of the infrastructure at Malkų Bay and spared neither time nor effort to make the infrastructure ready for the installation of the docks. Also, I would like to thank BMGS, the contractor that brought this project to life. Thanks to our smooth cooperation, we have made a substantial contribution in placing Lithuania’s maritime engineering industry and the Klaipėda Seaport at the head of progress,” Mr Šileika said.