First Phase Of New Keppel Subsidiary, Tuas Shipyard, To Cost $70 Million —A Number Of Key Appointments Made

Over the last three years, the volume of ship repair work handled 'by Keppel Shipyard (Private) Ltd., Singapore, has more than doubled, and the point has now been reached when investment in new facilities is essential if the company is to continue to grow.

Over the last two years, several comprehensive economic and technical studies regarding investment in a new drydock have been made.

The present drydocking facilities are limited to 40,000 dwt and with the growth of ship size, even for a "middle-size" shipyard such as Keppel, this is now inadequate.

A new subsidiary, Tuas Shipyard, is to 'be started and in its first phase of development, a drydock of 150,- 000-dwt capacity will be Ibuilt. For future expansion, the site area will provide space for another two drydocks. Preliminary engineering studies have been completed and work on the first phase, costing some $70 million, will begin this year. The new shipyard is expected to 'become operational in 1976.

1974 sees some reshuffling in the key people in the company. C.N.

Watson, hitherto managing director on loan from the Swan Hunter Group, leaves Keppel to take over as managing director of the other Swan Hunter interest in Singapore, the ex-Naval Dockyard, Sembawang Shipyard. He will be succeeded by the present general manager, C.T. Chua. Mr. Chua started his career as an apprentice in the Naval Dockyard, and after joining the Singapore Harbour Board, he won a scholarship to Newcastle University, where he took his degree in naval architecture and was a Burrill Medallist. On his return to Keppel Shipyard in 1968, Mr. Chua held positions as ship repair manager, general manager of a Keppel subsidiary company, then for the last two years as general manager of the parent firm. Mr. Chua is also this year's president of the Singapore Association of Shipbuilders and Repairers.

W.S. Loh, works manager, will succeed Mr. Chua as general manager.

With Keppel since 1960, he was awarded a three-year scholarship to study electrical engineering at Faraday House Engineering College, London. He graduated in 1966 and was winner of the college's gold medal. He was appointed electrical engineer on his return to Keppel, and he has been works manager since 1971.

Taking over as works manager will 'be Y.F. Tham, who is presently marine manager. With this move, Mr. Tham will now have handled all three of the key operational1 departments, because from 1970 to 1972 Mr. Tham served as commercial manager, and from 1972 to 1973 as marine manager. This is in line with company policy to develop managers with a broad background and experience. Mr. Tham studied marine engineering at the Singapore Polytechnic while undergoing his apprenticeship with Keppel.

On completion of his apprenticeship, he spent two years with Blue Funnel, and Maersk Lines, rejoining Keppel in 1968. Then from foreman engineer, he rose through chief billing officer to deputy commercial manager and commercial manager.

Now promoted to marine manager, Y.H. Kung, presently assistant marine manager, is a man of vast and varied experience in marine engineering. He is a former dockyard department apprentice, and he studied marine engineering at the Singapore Polytechnic. He then went to sea for several years with the Blue Funnel and with Straits Steamship. He came ashore and worked for a while with a Malaysian tin mining company as a mechanical engineer. Mr. Kung returned to Keppel Shipyard in 1968, to rise from the ranks of foreman engineer, through the ship repair management, to his new position of marine manager.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 17,  Mar 1974

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