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Dolphin Offshore to buy shipyards, to enter shipbuildingnews
17 October 2007
Mumbai: Dolphin Offshore Enterprises, the provider of offshore and onshore integrated services to much of the oil and gas industry has decided to move into ship building, for which it will buy shipyards.

Dolphin Offshore started in 1979 as a diving contractor, and has expanded into diving and underwater services, marine operations and management services, topside/fabrication services, maintenance and modifications of offshore structures and ship repair.

The company has earmarked an investment of Rs400 crore for the project. Dolphin is reportedly evaluating two existing shipyards on the West Coast for possible acquisition.

The company says that the Gujarat Maritime Board has allotted land at Jafrabad for the project, which will get off the ground in about two years, and would progress toward completion in three phases.

The greenfield project will most probably positioned at the grass-root level, to build relatively smaller vessels of up to 100 metres (1,000-1,200 tonnes), which would be used by the oil and gas industry to assist in in-house repair and the fabrication business, and also for coastal trade, which is an area the company plans to expand into later.

According to Navpreet Singh, joint managing director, Dolphin, the company plans to begin with smaller vessels on account of their lower investment and additional infrastructure demands. Moreover, Dolphin plans to play a niche market, rather than compete with bigger manufacturers in this space.

According to Singh, one of the shipyards under evaluation for possible acquisition has the requisite licences, even though it is yet to commence manufacturing. It''s present value is reportedly Rs30 crore, with a total outlay of Rs90 crore. The other shipyard is valued at Rs50-60 crore in all.

Dolphin plans to finalise the deal in the next 2-3 months.

The acquisition of these two shipyards would allow Dolphin access to shipbuilding expertise and the entire management of the shipyards, which would be an asset for the greenfield project at a later stage.

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Dolphin Offshore to buy shipyards, to enter shipbuilding