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Huge New Dry Dock for Ras Tanura

Source: 12/10/2003, Location: Middle East

RAS TANURA, December 10, 2003 -- A massive new dry dock is undergoing its final testing, and Saudi Aramco is getting the floating repair shop ready for service.

Built at shipyards in Dubai, U.A.E., Saudi Aramco Floating Dock No. 2 is more than 300 feet long and 120 feet wide. With the capacity to raise craft up to 4,500 tons, the dry dock is able to accommodate Saudi Aramco jack-up barges, tugs, survey boats and other support vessels.

Barnacles will be a thing of the past after a vessel visits the dry dock, with a hydro-blasting system that will be used to clean hulls to prepare them for refinishing. The environment won't suffer because the new system filters out the residue and allows the water to be reused.

Safety was a key issue in the design of the new floating facility, and as the vessels power in for maintenance, their crews will enjoy new accommodations built especially for them on the West Pier.

Although the floating dry dock could in theory be transferred to another location, the repair station needs a variety of sophisticated links to shore for operation.

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