The Erhama bin Jaber Al Jalahma shipyard remains fully operational throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. There are currently several vessels at the yard for repairs and maintenance works as well as repair and maintenance ongoing for a number of Jack Up Rigs (JUR). There has not been much significant change from the previous month. The shipyard continues to be fully operational, with the enhanced health and safety measures in place to safeguard the health and safety of our employees, contractors and clients.
Due to the global health crisis and high freight rates for tankers, there have been some clients who have indefinitely postponed their scheduled drydockings. Nevertheless, the yard is expecting the arrival of several oil and gas tankers for maintenance, routine drydocking inspections and BWTS installations in the coming months.
Safety is of paramount importance to N-KOM; hence it is doing everything it can to ensure the wellbeing of everyone at its workplace. The Erhama bin Jaber Al Jalahma shipyard is securely located in Ras Laffan Industrial City (RLIC), 80 kilometres north of capital city Doha. This has proven to be advantageous to N-KOM, as it is primarily self-contained, mostly separated from other populated areas, thereby potentially presenting a lower risk of infection.
N-KOM strictly adheres to all health and safety guidelines issued by local health authorities in Qatar. Since the start of the pandemic, it has stepped up its health and safety awareness efforts and extensive precautionary measures to minimise exposure to the virus to workers, contractors and clients throughout its site operations. Everyone at the shipyard, be it employees, contractors, clients, or visitors are regularly updated and briefed on the latest guidelines and measures taken by the local health authorities. Adequate supplies of hand sanitizers are made available at the offices, workshops and sites. A thorough disinfection exercise has been conducted at the employees’ accommodations, workshops and all around the workplace areas. There is also a restriction in place for movement on personnel within the yard to essential areas only.
Social distancing and application of appropriate PPE (face masks and gloves) amidst this global health crisis has always been reinforced at the yard; be it queuing during meal time, boarding transportation, or whilst on the transportation. N-KOM has restricted face-to-face meetings, encouraging employees to conduct virtual meetings with clients instead. All deliveries of goods ranging from mail, parcels, vessels spares, catering companies and ships chandlers are subject to a new protocol, which basically takes account of all the previously mention criteria for entry into the shipyard.
In addition, a comprehensive protocol has been set up within the shipyard to deal with and isolate any N-KOM employees or contractors who display symptoms of COVID-19.
Prior to any vessel berthing at N-KOM, strict measures must be followed as part of the mandatory obligation from the authorities and additional requirements that go above and beyond compliance:
- Completion of 14-day period of isolation to any person arriving in the State of Qatar by sea or air, before any works can be carried out on board any vessel or structure in the yard
- Following the period of quarantine, examination must be done by medical officers at the authorised medical centre to ensure no apparent symptoms of COVID-19 to complete the required declaration forms
- Upon completion of the COVID-19 declaration documentation and if temperature check is within normal parameters (below 37.6 Celsius), the individual shall be allowed entry to the shipyard
- Else, they shall be refused entry to the shipyard whereby the required health and safety protocols to deal with those showing symptoms of COVID-19 shall be carried accordingly
Other additional safety measures also include additional training for first responders and safety personnel. Daily inspections are being carried out, focused on fire risk, safe working practice, housekeeping, storage and hazardous substances etc. The “Safe Worker Awards” is one of N-KOM’s approaches to recognising the efforts of employees and contractors who display exemplary health and safety practices, to nurture a strong health and safety culture.
N-KOM has been receiving several enquiries from shipowners. Vessels that are typically booked with the Far East shipyards are now enquiring the availability of drydocking space at the yard.
Since the launch of Tawteen, a localisation agenda in Qatar by Qatar Petroleum (QP), N-KOM is also driven to prioritise local procurement. Vendors for material consumables, OEM services and manpower supply have started their new branches, or collaborations with local entities in Qatar, hence increasing the local materials and service availability for the yard. N-KOM has managed to maintain excellent relationships with local suppliers to ensure business continuity throughout this pandemic, remaining robust and resilient.