Grand Bahama Shipyard (GBS), pictured, yesterday delivered “a significant sign” of post-Dorian recovery by reopening and welcoming back its first commercial vessel.
The 57,062-ton Agathonissos, owned by Greece-based Eletson, returned to the facility to complete repair work that began before the category five storm arrived in The Bahamas.
The Shipyard, in a statement, added that it remains on track for the next planned cruise ship visit, Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Ecstasy, which is scheduled to arrive on October 5.
It said it expects to service 29 dry dockings throughout the remainder of 2019, helping to support recovery efforts through the work of its more than 600 employees and the additional economic activity generated for Grand Bahama.
“It was extremely important to get up and running as quickly as possible, and begin taking in vessels to help support the employees and families at the Shipyard, along with economic contributions and rebounding activity for the island,” said David Skentelbery, Grand Bahama Shipyard’s chief executive.
“This is a significant sign of positive progress for the island, and we look forward to continuing our normal operations while also supporting the Bahamian recovery with direct support, including to island utilities, along with increased economic activity from our operations, and also from the industry’s collective efforts to support The Bahamas with immediate and long-term relief.”
Grand Bahama Shipyard said Dorian had inflicted no significant damage, which was limited primarily to some erosion with no effect on berths. The company said it was able to fully power its core operations, including docks, workshops and administrative functions, as well as communications infrastructure.
It can also produce fresh water, and its cafeteria is currently feeding meals to hundreds of workers daily.
Founded in 2000 by its shareholders, Carnival, Royal Caribbean and the Grand Bahama Port Authority, the Shipyard performs dry-docking, afloat repairs, refurbishments, refits and overhauls for vessels in the cruise, commercial and offshore segments of the maritime industry.
Grand Bahama Shipyard schedules 85 to 100 drydocks each year, including more than two dozen major cruise ship dry docks annually.