May 13 2012
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ODC set to launch slops and sludge facility at Duqm
The facility, financed by the Ministry of Transport and Communications, is ranked among the largest of its kind in the world and is a key component of state-owned ODC's strategy to emerge as a one-stop, integrated vessel maintenance and repair services hub.
Construction work on the slops and sludge facility was completed recently, with the project's contractors -- Unique Tile Services -- handing over the modern and fully-equipped plant to the ministry for commissioning and commercial launch. ODC, with its strategic partner Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), will operate the facility, it is learnt.
"This plant is unique in that it is largest of its kind in the world," said Nishant Bhavsar, Director of Unique Tile Services, which implemented the project on behalf of the Omani government.
"In addition to its 10,000 cubic metre storage capacity, the plant is equipped to discharge treated wastewater at the rate of 30 cubic metres per hour, making it capable of handling the waste streams of even Ultra Large Crude Carriers (ULCC). It is this unique capability that will help attract some of the world's largest vessels for maintenance and repair services to Oman Dry-dock," Bhavsar added in comments to the Observer.
Oman-based Unique Tile Services LLC is a joint venture of Unique Maritime Group, a global provider of integrated support services for offshore industries, and Tile Marine LLC, a specialist provider of equipment and services to sailing vessels ranging from tugs, supply vessels, barges and dredgers to ocean-going supertankers, Ro-Ro vessels, containerships and bulk carriers. Both Unique Maritime Group and Tile Marine are Dubai-based entities.
Vessels generate significant amounts of sludge and slops, among other wastes, as a normal outcome of their operation. Sludge is an oily residue combined with sediments that collects in engine rooms and fuel tanks of vessels, as well as the cargo tanks of shipping tankers. Slops are the oily water that collects when the cargo tanks of shipping tankers are washed with water.
By adding a slops and sludge reception facility to the dry-dock's diverse offerings, ODC is set to enhance Duqm's appeal to shipping lines seeking ship maintenance and repair services. Vessels must first discharge their slop and sludge wastes before undergoing any dry-docking maintenance. Besides, in line with ODC's goal to be an environmental-friendly ship repair yard, slops received from vessels will be chemically treated and recycled.
Having established Oman's first slops and sludge facility at Duqm, Unique Tile Services is now preparing to make further inroads into the Sultanate's thriving oilfield and maritime industries. In addition to working closely with ODC in the development of the ship repair yard at Duqm, Unique Tile Services is also looking to offer its expertise in marine ship management, marine environmental consultancy, and oilfield services.
"We already have offices in Muscat and Duqm, but we intend to establish full-fledged facilities in Sohar and Duqm to support our long-term growth objectives in Oman," Bhavsar added.
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