UMC Opens New Underwater Repair Facility in Portland, U.K.

Underwater maintenance specialists UMC International have established a new ship repair location in the Dorset port of Portland capable of offering ship owners a full range of survey and repair services.

UMC has already completed approxi- mately 50 jobs at Portland and the success of the operation has led to the Southampton-based company setting up a new office at the port with a permanent team of divers and equipment.

Ships can be accommodated either alongside or at anchor within the port breakwater. With about 39 ft. (12 m) of water available, ships up to VLCC size can be anchored within the harbor, while vessels up to 820 ft. (250 m) can be berthed alongside.

UMC chairman David Jones explained: "Portland has a strategic location on the U.K. South Coast and has excellent facilities including good shelter, deep waters, low currents and very clear underwater visibility. It has already proved popular with both ship owners and classification societies and this has led to us establishing a dedicated underwater maintenance and repair center within the port." UMC has already carried out myriad number of tasks including a propeller polish on the 90,607 dwt tanker Lochness before it went to dry dock in Poland, and fitting a new rudder to a general cargo vessel.

Other jobs have included underwater hull cleaning, surveys and replacing defective hull plating.

Part of the investment being made by UMC at Portland will include two mini- Pamper underwater hull cleaning machines and Jones expects the port to become increasingly attractive for owners wanting a rapid solution to maintenance and repair requirements.

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