New owner for Oceanco...

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New owner for Oceanco...

Yard Updates

The Alblasserdam, Holland-based big-yacht builder has been acquired by private Omani investor Mohammed Al Barwani, an Oceanco client.

APRIL 2010

Mohammed Al Barwani has interests in oil, gas, manufacturing, and minerals in Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific through his MB Holding Company, as well as investments in various other diversified assets.
“I see Oceanco as a great brand,” says Barwani. “The company offers an outstanding growth opportunity as the world economy recovers. Oceanco’s order book is healthy and the business shows a strong balance sheet... It is my intention to take the operation to the next level.”
Barwani bought Oceanco from the Greek magnate Theo Angelopoulos, another yard client that picked the yard up around 10 years ago and most recently took delivery of the 82m (269ft) ’07-launched Oceanco Alfa Nero.
Former deputy managing director of Oceanco, Marcel Onkenhout, who has been with the operation for a total of 16 years, has recently been appointed as the new CEO. He replaces Eel Kant, who left the company in early April.
Oceanco has three projects under construction at the moment.
Furthest progressed is the 86m (282ft) Y706, which has been styled inside and out by Nuvolari & Lenard and is receiving decoration input from Molly Isaksen. She is actually a little ahead of schedule and delivers for late 2010.
Then there’s the 87.5m (287ft) Y707, the hull and superstructure of which recently arrived at the yard for fit-out to commence; she's the one shown below being manoeuvred into the fit-out slot vacated by the last away, the 85.5m Y705 Sunrays (pictured above). Y707 has a Sam Sorgiovanni exterior and interior. She delivers in 2011.
Both Y706 and Y707 are based on the same basic technical platform as previous projects, although they’ve grown ever-so slightly; obviously both will eventually sport different exterior and interior styling.
And beyond that we can look forward to seeing the similarly sized Y708, which will sport a beautifully profiled exterior drawn by Russian Igor Lobanov and a Remi Tessier interior. Her keel was laid in March ’09.
As yet we understand Y709 is up for grabs.
Y705 Sunrays, now in the Mediterranean, has an LOA of 85.5m (280ft) and is based on the same basic technical platform as the 85.5m (280ft) Vibrant Curiosity which delivered in spring '09. Her superb exterior was beautifully drawn by the late Bjorn Johansson and rates as Oceanco’s most complicated (expensive) superstructure to date. Her interior scheme is the work of Terence Disdale.
During the Monaco ’09, Oceanco unveiled various new concepts based on tank-tested platforms of around 60m (197ft), 70m (230ft) and 90m (295ft) ‒ and preliminary work on a 110m (360ft) platform.
Oceanco aims to have two to three projects in hand for fit out at any one time at its huge 145x45m (475x148ft) construction hall in Alblasserdam, which employs just 50 people directly despite the fact that there are usually well over 300 in the yard at any given time. But regardless of market conditions, it is still preparing for expansion. To that end it recently acquired a neighbouring waterfront site that will allow it to build several new halls.
At the moment most of Oceanco’s steel hulls these days are fabricated by Dutch exclusive subcontract yard Zwijnenburg, although aluminium superstructures are sourced from Poland. From start to finish an 85m (262ft) project is currently taking around 30 months from cutting metal to delivery — encompassing, say, a 14-month fabrication and a 16-month fit-out.
The company retains its design office and sales and marketing team in Monaco.
Oceanco has clearly established itself in the 75m-90m (246-295ft) sector, although the yard says it will still tender for projects down to 60m (197ft) and is capable of going bigger still. It’s biggest to date was the 2000-launched 95m (311ft) Indian Empress (ex-Al Mirqab), which had a beam of 15.2m (50ft), but it could cope up to 130m (426ft), which is the length of its quay at its Alblasserdam facility, and it has no draught or beam restrictions.

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© Phil Draper