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Passenger Ship Technology

Sembcorp Marine taps into Asia cruise boost

Tue 14 Feb 2017 by Rebecca Moore

Sembcorp Marine taps into Asia cruise boost
Royal Caribbean International’s Celebrity Solstice undergoing repairs at Sembcorp Marine Tuas Boulevard Yard

Sembcorp Marine’s head of repairs and refits tells Rebecca Moore why the cruise sector is a sweet spot for the shipyard

Sembcorp Marine Repairs & Upgrades has a strong focus on building up its cruise refit business – and it has seen this business boosted by growing demand for cruising in Asia.

In 2016, major repairs to Princess Cruises’ Sun Princess and Royal Caribbean International’s Celebrity Solstice were undertaken, as well as a range of other refits and upgrades (see table). In 2015, it achieved a record of 12 cruise ship refits and refurbishments, including the major transformation of Pacific Eden and Pacific Aria for P&O Cruises (Australia), which is a long-term partner of Sembcorp Marine. It also completed the upgrading of SkySea Golden Era for SkySea Cruise Line, a joint venture company set up for the Chinese market by Royal Caribbean Cruises, China’s International and Shanghai based asset manager Stone Capital.

The company expects an expanding workload of cruise ship refits and upgrading over the next few years. 

Lee Lin Wong, executive vice president and head of repairs and upgrades, told Passenger Ship Technology: “Cruise refits and upgrading is one of Sembcorp Marine’s niche markets.

“In recent years, Sembcorp Marine Repairs & Upgrades has focused strongly on building up our capabilities and infrastructure to strengthen our cruise refit business. Besides our extensive technical, logistics planning and project management expertise, which is critical for ensuring high quality work to meet the requirements of cruise shipowners and operators, we have developed a cruise ship culture and a workforce with the right attitude, training and experience to successfully deliver cruise ships on schedule and to high quality, health, environment and safety standards.”

She added that Sembcorp Marine has also successfully built up good co-operation and support from Singapore Cruise Centre and the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore to jointly offer Singapore as a one-stop cruise hub.

In terms of business opportunities, Ms Wong said: “Asia is one of the key demand hot spots, with China identified as a growing source market. Australia and New Zealand are other areas showing strong growth potential.”

An important advantage for Sembcorp Marine is the geographical location of Singapore. “Singapore is strategically located as a home port for cruise vessels plying the Southeast Asia market. We are well positioned to tap into the increasing cruise traffic to service not only our long-term partners which are expanding their operations in Asia but also new cruise companies positioning their vessels in the region. Our facilities are also geared towards servicing the bigger, and even the mega, cruise ships deployed in Asia,” said Ms Wong.

Sembcorp Marine continues to enhance its facilities for cruise repairs and upgrading. For instance, the Sembcorp Marine Tuas Boulevard Yard is a state-of-the-art new yard facility designed to “maximise operational synergy, production efficiency and critical mass” with optimised docking and berthing facilities, an improved dock and quay ratio, a centralised work-efficient layout and integrated facilities.

Sembcorp Marine has boosted its repairs sector in other ways, too. It provides turnkey solutions for ballast water management system (BWMS) retrofit installations. As well as working with owner-furnished equipment specifications, it can provide alternative equipment supply solutions which integrate the Semb-Eco L-UV BWMS. This solution, jointly developed by Sembcorp Marine and Ecospec Global Technology, is an LED and UV disinfectant system. It is the first in Singapore to be type approved by IMO.

Ms Wong said: “The Semb-Eco L-UV BWMS is a non-chemical system with low power requirements, currently undergoing further testing to verify its United States Coast Guard compliance. For ships with ballast pump flow rates of 500m3 per hour, the Semb-Eco system needs less than 30kW of power, while conventional UV systems require more than 100kW for the same treatment capacity.”

The BWMS is suitable for all ship types, including cruise ships.

The group’s cruise ship work has the potential to be boosted as a result of another recent event. During the third quarter of last year, the group acquired a 100 per cent stake in LMG Marin, a Norwegian company with expertise in naval architectural design, engineering and technology development. LMG Marin owns a series of design patents and has experience in the design of ships for many different sectors, including cruise ships and ferries.

Pull out quote:

“Asia is one of the key demand hot spots, with China identified as a growing source market. Australia and New Zealand are other areas showing strong growth potential.” Lee Lin Wong (Sembcorp Marine)








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