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Following is the text of the lecture "Activities of the Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard", delivered by Mr. Eid A. Yusuf, alternate member of the ASRY board of directors and director of ports in the State of Bahrain, at the "Arab-Japan Ports and Harbours Joint Conference", held in Tokyo on June 20-26.

In 1969 the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, through Petromin, the national oil company of Saudi Arabia, employed consultants to advise them on a venture that the newly formed Organization might sponsor which would be beneficial to the member states of the Organization. Later in that year the consultants recommended that a large ship repair yard situated in the Arabian Gulf, specifically designed to accommodate very large crude carriers (VLCC’s), would be a worthwhile project, contributing both to the training of Arab nationals of the member states, as well as rendering a service to the oil industry.

Following that recommendation, OAPEC sponsored the investigation in depth of such a project. Many of the internationally known shipbuilders and repairers were involved as collaborators in the study. Interesting facts in support of the project soon began to emerge. The most important of these was that due to the closure of the Suez Canal the most economic way to transport Arabian Gulf oil to world markets was in VLCC’s. These ships, of 175,000 dwt capacity and upwards, were designed to circumnavigate the Cape of Good Hope for deliveries to the West and, of course, the normal route to the Far East. The length and beam of these ships was such that there were very few dry docks in the world which could accommodate them.
In fact, there were no dry docks between Portugal and the Arabian Gulf or closer to the Gulf than Singapore for ships trading with Japan.

Another important factor that contributed to the decision by the OAPEC nations to proceed with a VLCC repair yard was that the Arabian Gulf is the best location in the world in terms of confluence of VLCC tankers.
All of these ships have to come to the Arabian Gulf to load, and with a fleet of about 800 such ships afloat this would mean about 4/5,000 voyages per year to the Arabian Gulf by VLCC’s - the highest incidence of specific traffic for any class of vessel in the world.

A further contributing factor was the strategic location for a repair facility at the loading port rather than the discharge port because, following the ballast voyage, the vessel would be virtually gas free on

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