MARINE and supply base operator Mermaid Marine Group is about to list on the bourse to raise $6.5 million to upgrade and expand its facilities at King Bay on Dampier’s Burrup Peninsula.The company, which was jointly founded as a single boat operator in 1982 by CEO Jim Carver, has issued a prospectus for the issue being underwritten by stockbroker Hartley Poynton Limited and floated subject to necessary statutory approvals and procedures in June this year.The equity will partly fund a $10 million expansion program on land adjacent to the company’s present 14 hectare King Bay base.It is proposed Mermaid Marine will develop an integrated marine support facility to include: a wharf facility to accommodate rig supply vessels, construction of a 2,000 tonne multi-purpose slipway and dry docking facility, dredge channel and mooring basin and cyclone protection for 20 company vessels.According to Mermaid Marine chairman Alan Birchmore, the new developments will create even further growth in coming months, as an exciting program unfolds for the company.“Servicing the resource industry is a good business,” Mr Birchmore said. “It’s essential for us to establish the new facilities. Now is the time to expand on our current base.”Mr Birchmore said the current base already performed a number of useful functions but has suffered from lack of access at other than high tide, limited flexibility and a total lack of dry dock facilities.The present lack of facilities has forced North West Shelf marine operators to Darwin, Fremantle or Singapore for repairs and maintenance – expensive voyages averaging 1,000 nautical miles each way.A 300 metre wharf is to be constructed, allowing fuelling, loading and unloading at all tides. A channel to Mermaid Sound will also be dredged for access.The wharf will support heavy lift cranes and will be valuable to Mermaid’s customers of NWS explorers, builders, maintenance operators and producers.Mr Birchmore said Carnarvon Basin and the NWS continue to exhibit the strongest levels of potential activity.Dampier is ideally situated as the logical service hub for this growth and hence this is the major reason behind Mermaid’s desire to establish enhanced facilities to capitalise on the future needs of the industry.
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