Floating ship repair service coming in early 2024
Tri-country partners pour US$37m into GSRJ project
German Ship Repair Jamaica Limited, GSRJ, a joint venture involving Jamaican, German and Turkish interests, will be offering ship repair services from a floating dock in the Kingston Harbour, a 215 metre-long Panamax-size installation, which was...
German Ship Repair Jamaica Limited, GSRJ, a joint venture involving Jamaican, German and Turkish interests, will be offering ship repair services from a floating dock in the Kingston Harbour, a 215 metre-long Panamax-size installation, which was delivered two weeks ago.
The dock is now moored at the company’s new home base at the GSRJ Shipyard.
German Ship Repair Jamaica is a new company whose partners have poured US$37 million into the first phase of the business. The company itself was registered in 2017 but different partners came on board in subsequent periods.
GSRJ already does business in the form of “afloat repairs”, said CEO Colonel Martin Rickman. It also holds a licence to operate as a special economic zone or SEZ business.
“We are operating but not in the shipyard,” said Rickman on Tuesday.
“We are making some repairs but not in the shipyard. We have been doing repairs on-board ships in the Kingston Harbour – afloat repairs – but during that time we have been building a new shipyard complete with floating dock,” he added.
“We have acquired the land and will begin operations at Dock Yard. Early 2024, we will be operational at the dock.”
The floating dock which arrived in Kingston August 24 will allow GSRJ “to perform complex ship repair works on various types of cargo vessels”. It was renamed from Dock V to JAM-DOCK 1 on its arrival and is the first of two floating platforms the company plans to operate.
GSRJ’s founding and managing partners are Harren and Partner of Germany, Kloska Group of Germany, Hat-San Shipyard of Turkey and Jamaica Dry Dock. The latter company is itself a partnership between Jamaica Fruit & Shipping Company Limited and Maritime & Transport Services Limited.
“Later, the founding partners were joined by PanJam Investment Limited, University Hospital Scheme of Pensions, SAJE Logistics Infrastructure Limited, KPW Superannuation Fund, Jamaica Broilers Group Limited Superannuation Scheme, JPSCo Employees’ Pension Plan,” the company said in initial responses facilitated by the communications unit of the Jamaica Ship Registry. PanJam Investment Limited was recently renamed as Pan Jamaica Group.
SEAF Caribbean Growth Fund, Mayberry Investments Limited and ATL Pension Fund are preference shareholders in GSRJ.
GSRJ said the overall US$37 million project cost included the “purchase and transportation of the floating dock and the purchase of the 5.2 acres of seafront land at Harbour Head, and various machinery and equipment”.
The size of the investments by each partner was not disclosed; however, GSRJ said the majority of the funds were from Jamaican sources.
“The project is funded mainly by private equity, and loan from Sagicor Bank Jamaica Limited,” it said.
Additional investments in mechanical and machinery, steel and outfitting workshops, cranes and equipment are planned in the future. The second floating dock will be procured under phase two of the project to expand capacity at the shipyard.
GSRJ currently operates from Newport West in Kingston. Its management team includes CEO Rickman, a retired JDF colonel, Robert Kozicki as chief technical officer, and Leon Rhooms as chief financial officer.
The board is chaired by Peter Harren, with Charles Johnston as deputy chair. The other directors are Kim Clarke, Heiko Felderhoff, Mustafa Pepe, Martin Wirz, Stephen Facey, Christopher Levy, Trevor Riley, Roger Hinds, Dwight McLeish, and Gerard Johnson.
The company is still in the process of recruiting staff. It’s seeking about 100 direct and indirect employees for the phase one operation, including subcontractors.
GRSJ touts its floating repair service as a first for Jamaica, and is looking towards the approximately 3,000 port calls to Jamaica annually for business.
“Jamaica is strategically located at a crossroads of international marine trade, in close proximity to the Panama Canal,” the company noted.
“Besides the Port of Kingston, there are four major transshipment hubs – Freeport, Manzanillo, Cartagena and Caucedo – within two days sailing time, contributing to the high demand for ship repair services in the area,” it said.
The floating repairs will be additional to its afloat operations that GRSJ says it has been engaged in for six years.
The company says that while there are several shipyards “dotted around the region” it expects its service to complement those already in operation, saying the size of the demand for the service is currently unmet by the existing players.
The main market is cargo vessels trading in the region, which include container vessels, bulk carriers, tankers, heavy lift vessels, support vessels for the oil industry and other ships.
“It is estimated that there are over 16,000 ships operating in the Caribbean Region on a daily basis, which include the calls to Jamaica. The ship traffic traversing the Panama Canal daily positions Jamaica geographically in an ideal position to offer ship dry docking and repair services,” GSRJ said.