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Topaz Marine Engineering: Middle East’s super competitive yard scene

Dubai: A leading shipyard executive in the Middle East has questioned the incredibly low prices some of his competitors are offering to secure business.

Geoff Taylor, managing director of Topaz Marine Engineering, tells Maritime CEO: “We do wonder sometimes how people are able to offer services at prices below cost.”

Taylor acknowledges that there is overcapacity among yards in the Middle East. “They are all feeling it,” he says. “As a result, rates have to be very, very competitive,” he adds.

Taylor is a shipyard veteran, having led Dubai Drydocks for many years. Last year he was parachuted into the Topaz role as parent firm Renaissance from Oman looked to put some structure into the subsidiary following the sale of various parts of the Topaz empire. Topaz Marine has 99 OSVs, with two more set to deliver shortly, while Topaz Engineering has facilities in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Fujairah.

“We are restructuring the organization to make it deliver better results,” Taylor says, adding that Renaissance may in the future look to divest itself of Topaz. This past weekend a floating dock was relaunched in the Free Port at Abu Dhabi. As well as yards, Topaz offers afloat repairs, with teams ready to fly around the world as well as diving services.  [10/09/14]

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