Abu Dhabi-based Quality Marine Services (QMS), in conjunction with Zakher Marine International (ZMI), has taken delivery of the first offshore barge built in a shipyard in China, under the supervision of ZMI staff, a report said.
"We have designed and built the most sophisticated and advanced barge, as part of three new barges constructed in China at a cost of $350 million. These barges are considered the most advanced in the market today, in terms of size and technology, specifically in the Mena region,” said Ali El Ali, executive director of ZMI.
"The barges are built to carry out a large scope of work, ranging from well services and drilling support to construction, floatel and maintenance work. They also have the highest standards of safety and have the ability to work in various weather conditions and geographical locations.
"The first of our large fleet of barges arrived in Abu Dhabi last week, with the knowledge that these are built to operate in stringent weather, both in the Middle East and Europe alike. They are further considered to be one of the best (barges available in the market) in terms of design and operation requirements, compared to others around the world," Ali said.
In a separate statement, Musadaq Al Yacoub, general manager of ZMI, said that the barge, took three years to build, and it includes the most modern design technology and finishing.
"This one is part of the three barges constructed by the company, with the expectation that the second barge will be sent to the North Sea, adjacent to the Netherlands and the UK’s coasts, to work in the construction of wind turbine fields, as well as in the working of offshore oil and gas fields," he noted.
Al Yacoub further disclosed that the strategic direction for ZMI involves the building of a further five barges in China. The delivery of these is expected by the end of 2018. "These are built and designed in a new and innovative way suitable for the Middle East’s weather and operational requirements," he added.
Captain Ron McGuire, head of the Barges Department at ZMI, said that the barge received in Abu Dhabi, is one of the largest and the most significant in the Middle East, and it can also operate in Europe and the North Sea. It has a detailed design, when compared to other barges in the region. It can also work and operate in different oil fields, which help in the reduction of cost for its owners, he added.