Besiktas Shipyard is a young Turkish shipbuilding and repair yard established by maritime services company Besiktas Group. The Group was founded in the 1960s to provide vessel management to the oil industry and today also owns its own fleet of high-end tankers and bulk carriers. In the early 2000s, the company began using the other shipyard’s facilities to begin building vessels in co-operation with a range of subcontractors. Besiktas Group found the process to give them a huge advantage, enabling to build vessels exactly as they wanted them. “At the end of the day, in 2007, the Group had a lot of good men with experience in building and repair and also wanted to own its own shipyard,” adds shipyard manager Zeki Korkmazgil. In the beginning of 2007 Besiktas decided to invest in building its own shipyard.
The yard was partly finished and opened in 2008. Its primary facilities are two docks, one a graving dock and the other a floating dock. The graving dock is a 235 by 40 metre space with a maximum capacity of 92,000 deadweight tonnes (DWT); the floating dock has an identical maximum capacity but with dimensions of 230 by 37 metres. Besiktas has already purchased a second floating dock of the same size and it will be taken into service in September 2012. In addition to this it has a 10,000 square metre steel prefabrication workshop, a 2100 square metre storage facility, a 1500 square metre pipe workshop, a range of mechanical workshops for machine repairs, and indoor tank blasting and coating areas. The yard offers a total 1200 metres length of jetties.
These spacious, well-equipped facilities have enabled Besiktas Shipyard to execute a high volume of projects since it opened including the construction of notable high-end vessels. “We have already built three LPG carriers since we opened,” Zeki says, “and we have a fourth one under construction now. These are very sophisticated builds carried out in conjunction with our trusted subcontractors.” These vessels were built for the Italian company Gas & Heat Co, as 87.5 metre carrier with a total carrying capacity of 3300 cubic metres. A fourth similar vessel is currently under construction. “There is another upcoming Ethylene project that will see us construct eight 9000 cubic metre cutting edge Ethylene carriers,” adds Zeki.
In total, the yard delivered a total of seven newbuildings during 2011. Other vessels built include two 15-metre steel workboats for Azerbaijani company Caspian Marine Services as well as four seagoing river tankers for Palmali Group. These 7000 DWT vessels are 139 metres in length, are built of steel, and saw a quick turnaround in taking only six and half months from initial cutting to delivery. A further six in this series will be delivered before the end of 2012. As this range of builds show, the yard has a diverse range of skills incorporating steel building and outfitting.
Besiktas Shipyard’s repair work is equally prolific and varied. “We managed to complete 110 ship repair projects during 2011 including on the Leiv Eiriksson, which is the world’s second largest semi-submersible oil rig,” illustrates Zeki. “We have a lot of experience with projects in the Black Sea so when the rig travelled back from its drilling location in the Black Sea to its home in Norway, its owner Ocean Rig AS chose us to provide some maintenance and repair jobs on the rig. Also we give services to most of the Exxon Mobile PSV vessels in Black Sea or around when they need any repair or maintenance. We already, for example, rebuilt the full accommodation of one Brasilian Flag bulk carrier that suffered from extended fire damage to the accommodation and lower parts of the superstructure. That was carried out successfully.”
These are impressive results for such a young yard and arrive after an equally strong performance in 2010, which saw ten newbuildings and 80 vessel repairs. These numbers also highlight one of the yard’s core strengths – that it has plenty of space for multiple concurrent projects. Growing recognition for its skill has thus seen a fast, steady increase in business. “In the first five months of this year we have already managed to carry out 50 vessel repair jobs and several newbuildings including a construction barge,” adds Zeki. This high volume of work reflects the experience and skill that Besiktas Shipyard offers, built on the knowledge and support of its parent, Besiktas Group.
Looking forward, the yard is in a good position for the future. With Turkey an up and coming region in the shipbuilding market, Besiktas Shipyard is in an ideal position to capitalise on the success it has already established. Zeki is equally confident in what the yard will be able to achieve: “We already have a number of projects being worked on and are about to acquire a second floating dock, meaning we will have three docks in total and even greater capacity for multiple jobs. However, we want to be one of the best ship repair and newbuilding yards in the world and to achieve that we will continue to invest not only in our facilities but in our people as well.”