Last year (2017) saw a healthy business trend for Dubai’s NICO International. The company has enjoyed significant success, buoyed by continued support from key clients such as Maersk Line, CMA CGM, US Navy, Anglo Eastern Ship Management, MOL Tankship, UAE Coast Guard, Drydocks World, Zakher Marine, Zamil Offshore, Emirates Steel Industries, DUGAS, and GE etc. among many others.

More than 3,500 individual afloat repair jobs were completed on-board various types of vessels. As many as 150 riding squads were in operation at any given time for various shipowners. Additionally, NICO successfully completed over 59 drydocking projects from its locations in Dubai and Fujairah. A similar trend was observed for industrial shutdown projects, involving several major industrial shutdown jobs with notable clients several in the pipeline for 2018. NICO has provided support to various vessels in voyage and ports abroad for such owners as Maersk line, CMA CGM, Switzer, Zamil, etc.

NICO has witnessed an increase in main engine repairs for with work having been carried out in both Dubai and Fujairah anchorage and in service. Steel renewals jobs have also shown a promising start for this year.

Prakash Kumar, NICO’s General Manager says:
“We monitor vessel movements and ascertain where it is that vessels are entering our region. There is certainly a strong trend developing in the scale of Chinese and Taiwanese vessels now moving through this area. To this end, we have begun to market NICO International more prominently within these countries. The monitoring process is a continuous focus of the business – we monitor every week where vessels are predominantly entering the region, and we observe that an area or region is becoming predominant, we ensure our representatives are sent out to raise awareness of NICO International.”

Due to the emphasis demonstrated by NICO International on afloat repair work, the company also engages in such tracking to ensure that it is prepared for what is otherwise an unplanned manner of operation. Even for areas in which we have established networks, we need to maintain knowledge of when vessels are expected to arrive in the region.

“To this end, tracking is very beneficial to the company. Because NICO International has a history spanning over 44 years, we can demonstrate a great deal of knowledge regarding our customers – so we are very proactive in communicating with vessels and enquiring if there is any work to be performed. This also ensures that we can schedule ourselves accordingly.”

NICO has carried out more than 59 drydockings, all successfully completed at DMC and its Fujairah yard. Several boiler maintenance/survey & inspection/boiler retubing were carried successfully for ADNATCO – NGSCO, MOL Tankship, within Drydocks World, for Global Boiler Aalborg A/S and Star Cement. Under the Thermomeccanica agreement NICO has carried out overhauling of booster pumps and mounting of the pump shaft assembly after overhauling at client site.

NICO has also seen a healthy jump in business for its underwater services and anticipates continued growth in that segment. NICO International’s diving team has successfully carried out the recovery of some eight lost anchors at Fujairah Anchorage – a 100% success rate for recovering lost anchors at Fujairah Anchorage.

NICO also successfully completed underwater stern tube seal replacements for Holland’s UPE (Global Diving Services). The procedure included:
• In-situ replacement of stern tube seals without trimming the vessel to the bow
• The rope guard was removed to get access to the stern tube seal arrangements
• Arrangements were made to install flexible Sealdock habitat around the stern tube seal system.
• After flexible Sealdock habitat installation provision was made to supply continuous low pressure breathing air into the habitat to push out the sea water providing dry conditions for the engineers to work inside the flexible habitat
• Bonding of seals were carried out by certified UPE engineers Following AEGIR Marine procedures
• Upon successful bonding/exchanging new seals, stern tube seal system was fixed back to original arrangements following AEGIR Marine procedures
• Rope guard was installed back in original position
• The job was concluded with zero incidents, observations or near misses.

NICO International has signed various new agreements:
• A service agent agreement with Japan’s Nishishiba Electric (part of the Toshiba Corp) for all the electrical power generating products manufactured by Nishishiba in the Middle East region
• A service agent agreement with Sunrui Marine Environment (a wholly owned subsidiary company of China Shipbuilding Industry Company Limited for BWT systems in the Middle East region)
• An exclusive Sales & Service agreement partnership with France’s Jeumont Electric for Jeumont equipment (power generation and conversion markets)
• An exclusive territorial partnership agreement with Dragon Marine (Turkey) for the marine & industrial business in Turkey region.

Looking ahead, NICO International wishes to continue developing long-term agreements and contracts with major vessel companies and to continue the progress in forming strategic alliances with equipment manufacturers, customers and suppliers alike. Few long-term agreements with major vessel companies are in the pipeline and expected to complete by the first quarter of 2018.

Adding more manpower to the ever-increasing pool of highly trained and qualified riding squads has been a notable achievement for the company. NICO has taken CDC for more mechanics and fabrication team (Belize CDC) to upgrade the team of riding squads. NICO successfully provides essential, efficient and reliable services and total solutions through its technically competent, highly skilled and effective workforce, who are dedicated to meet and exceed the customer expectation.

Prakash Kumar
Mr. Prakash Kumar - General Manager of NICO International