Nakilat readies more business opportunities for Qatar SMEs

Nakilat’s diverse range of shipping activities at the Erhama Bin Jaber Al Jalahma Shipyard will provide different business opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Qatar, an official has said.

Nakilat managing director Abdullah Fadhalah al-Sulaiti told Gulf Times the company “is targeting all types of shipping activities,” which could benefit Qatari SMEs specialising in the shipping sector.

“The shipyard is capable of conducting all types of activities in terms of ship repair, construction, and offshore,” al-Sulaiti said on the sidelines of Nakilat’s annual general meeting (AGM) yesterday at the Four Seasons Hotel.

The recently-signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Qatar Development Bank (QDB) aims to offer more opportunities for SMEs to provide maritime services to Nakilat, he added.

“We have serviced a huge number of vessels in 2015 and we will continue to do so in the coming years. We are aiming for more customers, which is why we have signed this MoU with QDB,” he said.

He explained that the MoU serves “as a facility,” which Nakilat will develop to attract more customers to Erhama Bin Jaber Al Jalahma Shipyard. “The development of the shipyard is in progress. It is servicing many customers from Qatar and also in the region. This facility is open to customers anytime they want to utilise it.

“The shipyard is doing a lot of activities such as the recently built and delivered lift boat, which has been the first offshore construction to be done in the state of Qatar and we are very proud of this project,” al-Sulaiti explained.

Asked about Nakilat expansion plans for 2016, al-Sulaiti said: “We always have the ambition to expand our business, whether in the LNG or LPG sector. There are a number of opportunities and we are working hard to capture those opportunities, so we’ll see how we will progress in 2016.”

In his speech, al-Sulaiti stressed that the completion of Nakilat’s “world-first ME-GI project has immense potential environmental benefits.”

“Sea trials and the first stage of gas trials commissioning were completed in July 2015. The second phase of gas trials took place in September and declared a success. This was an important moment in Nakilat’s history,” he said.

During the meeting, HE the Minister of Energy and Industry Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada, who is also chairman of Nakilat, said the company “continues to deliver strong returns for its shareholders through the consistent implementation of its business strategy.”

The meeting ratified the board’s recommendation to distribute a cash dividend equal to 12.50% of the nominal value of its capital (equal to QR1.25 per share).

Al-Sada also said Nakilat’s net profit last year saw a 10% increase to QR984mn from QR895mn in 2014 “due to the company’s growth and shipping activities”, including the addition of three new vessels to its LNG fleet during 2015, bringing the total number of its consolidated vessels to 67.

Source: Gulf Times