Following the announcement that Hadi Hamad Al-Hammam Group of Saudi Arabia is investing $44m in setting up the Seagulf Shipyard in Sri Lanka SB has learnt that operations will commence in about three months following the placement in Galle Harbour of a 4,500t capacity floating dock.

“We’re planning to handle yachts and pleasure craft up to 60m (197ft) and above,” a spokesman for the Saudi Arabian Group told SB. “The plan is to install the floating dock and start work as soon as that is completed in about three months time, after Rammadan.

“We are also planning to have a syncrolift for vessels up to 2,500t. The designs for the syncrolift and other facilities are already completed and work will start soon on the shipyard. It should be fully operational in about 12 to 18 months.

“We have a consultant in Sri Lanka who worked at Colombo Dockyard who is working on recruiting staff. A meeting of our directors will be held after Ramadan in Sri Lanka to make the final decisions about the shipyard.”

The spokesman explained that alongside the yachts and pleasure craft the yard will also be undertaking commercial work on vessels up to 45,000dwt.

The Hadi Hamad Al Hammam Group already has a large marine division in Saudi Arabia with a fleet of offshore service craft.