By Daniel Canty
Drydocks World and National Drilling Company celebrate 39th UAE Anniversary with offshore rig delivery.
Drydocks World, the Dubai-based global ship building and repair
company, on December 1 celebrated the 39th UAE National Day by delivering the country’s
first offshore rig to the National Drilling Company (NDC) based in Abu Dhabi, after successful
refurbishment and upgrade work. The drilling rig, named Al Ittihad (The Union),
was formally handed over to NDC’s top management during the National Day ceremonies
attended by Khamis Juma Buamim chairman, Drydocks and Maritime World, Abdullah Saeed
Al Suwaidi, general manager, NDC.
The rig was acquired by NDC in 1975 and has been in service ever
since. NDC contracted Drydocks World to carry out the repair work under its marine
Rig Integrity Assurance Programme (RIAP), aimed at offering a cost-effective and
safe alternative to procuring new rigs.
Drydocks World carried out extensive upgrades on the jack-up
rig, which was originally built by Marathon LeTourneau at the Clydebank Scotland
shipyard. Al Ittihad’s service life-span is expected to be extended by 15 to 25
“NDC is an honoured client of Drydocks World and we are privileged
to have been chosen to carry out repair works on Al Ittihad, a drilling rig that
has historical significance in the UAE,” said Khamis Juma Buamim. “Our capabilities
as conversion and construction experts were put to the full test by this project
and we have emerged successful and delivered it on this special occasion. It is
a testimony to the capabilities of our staff and Drydocks World’s position as the
preferred ship repair yard in the region and beyond.”
Abdullah Saeed Al Suwaidi added: “It is an excellent coincidence
that we have Al Ittihad, which is our first jack up rig, it is coming at the right
time for the National Day.
“With the excellent quality of work done and with the remarkable
cooperation between the two companies, we are sure there will be many, many projects
to come. NDC’s vision is to be a symbol of excellence in the region, we aim for
best quality everything that we do. We currently have 29 rigs, aiming to increase
to 45 rigs over the next five years.”
Al Ittihad is equipped to carry out drilling operations in waters
150 feet deep and can drill up to 20,000 feet.