Bahrain's nogaholding acquires Asry shares held by government

The National Oil and Gas Authority (Noga) said Asry joining the nogaholding portfolio is in line with its strategy to achieve the optimum economic benefit

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. The first oil well of the region (L), which was discovered in 1931, is seen with new and advanced oil pumping machines in the background in Sakir, south of Manama, October 11, 2014.

Image used for illustrative purpose. The first oil well of the region (L), which was discovered in 1931, is seen with new and advanced oil pumping machines in the background in Sakir, south of Manama, October 11, 2014.

REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

MANAMA: The Oil and Gas Holding Company (nogaholding) has acquired the Bahrain government’s shares in Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard (Asry), the region’s oldest ship repair, construction and marine engineering firm.

With this, Oil Minister Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa has become the new chairman of Asry, which has already been approved by the company’s board of directors.

The National Oil and Gas Authority (Noga) said Asry joining the nogaholding portfolio is in line with its strategy to achieve the optimum economic benefit.

Mazen Matar has been appointed a board member and managing director, with the responsibilities of chief executive.

He succeeds acting chief executive Magdy Sharkawy, who led the company through the transition and will continue in the company in an advisory role.

Shaikh Mohammed said the move is a part of Noga’s mandate to grow the oil sector through various investments and build specialised companies that benefit the national economy.

“It will help in development of Asry’s services and its modernisation into a specialised ship repair facility as well as its diversification into new revenue streams including offshore platform repair and maintenance, engineering and manufacturing services.”

A modernised Asry will complement the Noga portfolio and contribute to the progress of the kingdom in various fields, in co-operation with various regional and international companies, he added.

Thanking outgoing chairman Shaikh Daij bin Salman Al Khalifa and board members for their services, the minister said the authority is committed to enhancing capacity and optimising the use of oil resources for the benefit of the national economy.

According to sources, the shares now transferred to nogaholding belonged to Mumtalakat, Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund, which became the majority shareholder last year after an injection of capital in the yard.

In January this year, Asry signed a contract with Noga to provide a dedicated marine services area in the yard, from where oil and gas projects can be supported.

The zone includes berth facilities, storage, crew facilities and more, within Asry’s premises.

It was also announced that the Bahrain LNG Terminal project would use the Noga Zone for some of its maritime operations.

Founded in 1977 in Bahrain, the multi-service yard’s operations include repair and conversion of ships, rigs and naval vessels, along with fabrication and engineering.

Its facilities include a 500,000dwt drydock, two floating docks of 252m and 227m, 15 repair berths with a total length of approximately 5,000m, twin 255m slipways, as well as a 250,000sqm fabrication area, and a range of workshops and service centres.

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