The 73.3 hectare first phase of the Sembmarine Integrated Yard @ Tuas started operations on 5 August and comprises four VLCC drydocks with a combined capacity of 1.55m dwt.
Speaking to 1,100 guests at the official opening of the yard PM Lee said: “Sembcorp Marine’s plan is to consolidate all of its yards here into this integrated facility by 2024, in fact I hope they will get there sooner. The aim is to create a shipyard of the future.”
Sembmarine currently operates five other yards in Singapore: Sembawang Shipyard, Jurong Shipyard, PPL Shipyard, Jurong SML and SMOE. Facilities such as Sembawang Shipyard sit on land that has good potential to be redeveloped into waterfront residential property.
Once fully completed the new yard will cover 209 hectares, a second phase of 34.5 hectares will be operational in three to four years time.
PM Lee said that the Singapore’s marine industries were thriving and Sembmarine has a record orderbook of SGD14bn, and along with its rival Keppel Offshore and Marine, they build nearly all the world’s high-spec jack-up drilling rigs and have a 70% share of the FPSO conversion market.
However, he also noted the challenges that Singapore’s shipyards face from regional competition, scarcity of land and reduction the level of foreign labour they are allowed to employ. “At the same time we face challenges too, the competition is increasing especially from Korea and China,” he said.
“We are reducing the inflow of foreign workers and that is a big issue for an industry that relies heavily on them.”
“The challenge is for the industry to remain viable while optimising land use and reducing reliance on foreign manpower. Sembcorp Marine’s response is this new integrated yard,” PM Lee stated.
Being a greenfield site Sembmarine believes the yard will be more efficient that its existing facilities.
Goh Geok Ling, chairman of Sembmarine said: “Innovative design, advanced and optimised facilities are also an integral part of the yard. These will maximise work efficiency and operational synergy, enabling us to utilise our workforce and resources more effectively to achieve higher productivity and turnaround.”
The yard features a 412 m long, 66 m wide, 11 m draught drydock, which Sembmarine said is the longest and deepest in Asia and capable of docking container ships of up to 18,000 teu. It also the widest drydock in Singapore, which at 89 m wide is designed to accommodate jack-up and semi-submersible rigs.