News / 03 Dec 2023

Speed and quality meet in new underwater repairs service

There’s a new destination for underwater repairs in the Middle East Gulf and Arabian Sea.

GAC Oman has teamed up with global underwater maintenance and repair services experts Hydrex to provide repair solutions at Sohar Anchorage.

Approved by six leading international certification societies, the service can provide a range of seal, thruster, propeller, hull, rudder and scrubber pipe repairs and replacements, as well as customised turnkey solutions for everyday operations and complex repairs that require specific equipment.

Ideal location
Dr. Ashan Silva, GAC Oman’s Business Manager at Sohar, says the port is the ideal location for such services.

Sitting next to the Strait of Hormuz, it is within easy reach of the main east-west shipping lanes connecting Asia and the Red Sea, so vessels only need to make minimal diversion from their voyage for repair calls. Further, it does not experience the same congestion seen at neighbouring anchorages, so rarely sees backlogs or bottlenecks.

Dr Ashan Silva GAC Oman Sohar

Sohar also enjoys clear weather with no monsoon disruptions year-round and is surrounded by very clear unpolluted waters – a key factor in facilitating sub-surface repairs – thanks to the stringent rules and regulations maintain in force.

Spirit and confidence
This expansion of GAC’s services at Sohar is in line with the Group’s entrepreneurial spirit that seeks out new opportunities to better serve its customers. In response to ship owners’ need for reliable and timely repairs in the region, GAC Oman conducted feasibility study which concluded that Sohar anchorage was the ideal location.

Hydrex 5 w attribution

One of the key concerns identified in the study was ship owners’ need to have confidence in the quality of the repairs.

“That’s why we decided to reach out to well reputed and recognised underwater repair specialist Hydrex to work with us on the technical side, working hand-in-hand with our local team” says Ashan.

Quality is key. That’s why we are working with a partner with the expertise, experience, equipment and latest technology to deliver the high standard of support that our customers expect and deserve.”

Satisfied customer
One of the first jobs handled by the new service involved underwater inspection, cofferdam installation, meticulous preparation and cutting and removing old shell plating by a team of certified welders. Rigorous Non-Destructive Testing followed, overseen by an independent inspector and a surveyor, before the cofferdam was removed, the penetration welds inspected and epoxy applied over the weld seam.

Despite being conducted during a public holiday, customs clearance of the equipment as well as visa processing and permits were expedited within a very tight timeframe to enable the repair to be completed promptly and to a high standard, prompting praise from the customer for the “excellent work” of the team at Sohar.

For details about GAC’s underwater repair services at Sohar, contact the team at [email protected].

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