Grand Bahama Shipyard yesterday said it has dry-docked its first vessel since re-opening shortly after Hurricane Dorian hit The Bahamas early last month.
Taipei Trader, a 9,932-ton containership operated by Lomar Shipping, docked at the number three dock this week in a major step towards returning the Shipyard to normal operations.
Taipei Trader first docked at the Shipyard on August 25 for a routine programme including propulsion and thruster maintenance, and preparation of the hull for protective coating. It had to be undocked and depart the Shipyard on August 30 due to the company’s storm protocols and Hurricane Dorian’s projected path.
Following Taipei Trader’s return, Grand Bahama Shipyard resumed maintenance work and repairs on the ship, which are expected to be completed this month.
“We are grateful to our dedicated team members at Grand Bahama Shipyard, whose hard work has made it possible for us to quickly resume dry-dock operations and continue to serve our important maritime clients,” said David Skentelbery, Grand Bahama Shipyard’s chief executive.
“This dry-dock is another important recovery milestone for the Shipyard and the community, which will continue to see positive economic activity from the Shipyard’s ongoing operations and resultant benefit to the island.”
The Shipyard also last month announced the return of the 57,062-ton Agathonissos, owned by Greece-based Eletson, which is currently at the pier completing repair work started prior to the storm.
Planning remains on track for the next planned cruise ship dry-dock at the Shipyard, which involves Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Ecstasy, on October 5.
Mr Skentelbery added: “While clean-up and repair operations were ongoing at the Shipyard in preparation for restarting ship repair and drydock activities, our employees continued to volunteer their time, resources and expert skills to assist in recovery efforts across Grand Bahama. We could not be more proud of their efforts to step up when needed to restart the Shipyard and to support our colleagues and neighbours.”
The Shipyard’s employees have assisted Grand Bahama Utility Company in restoring fresh water services; helped in the distribution of essential aid by The Bahamas National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA); provided mobile light and power generation equipment to east Grand Bahama; and created “flying squads” of Shipyard volunteers to assist where needed on the island. This includes a 40-person team sent to clean up and clear debris from seven impacted schools to help ensure the buildings and classrooms are clean and safe for the return of students.
Founded in 2000 by shareholders Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean Cruises and the Grand Bahama Port Authority, the Shipyard offers dry-docking, afloat repairs, refurbishments, refits and revitalisations for vessels from the cruise, commercial and offshore segments of the maritime industry.
Grand Bahama Shipyard schedules 85-100 drydocks each year, including more than two dozen major cruise ship drydocks annually.