Underwriter visit to Shipyard in Ras Laffan

30 July 2015

Senior Partner Sean Woollerson and Jason Little, Partner at JLT Specialty took five underwriters from Lancashire Insurance, RSA, Argenta and QBE on the visit. 

One aim of the trip was to showcase the exceptional facilities available at Ras Laffan for building, repairing and maintaining vessels. The other crucial aim was to bring the underwriters and clients together. Sean says: “An important part of what we do is helping to engender relationships between underwriters and insureds. Visits like this are invaluable for increasing understanding and helping underwriters and clients to forge lasting, mutually beneficial relationships.”

Ralph Godwin, Head of London Market Hull operation at RSA, agrees: “There is nothing better than having the opportunity to visit clients and exchange views to understand each other’s position, philosophy and points of view. It is essential to better understand the risk and the operation.”

For Paul Russell, marine underwriter at Lancashire Insurance, one of the key elements of such trips is the ability to add value. “Trips like this are really important to us because, as the market becomes tougher, we have to work hard to maintain relevance in the market and add value.”

An industrial city

Since 2005, JLT Specialty has been involved in placing reinsurance for Al Koot – Risk Management and Insurance Service Provider to Qatar Petroleum. Qatar Petroleum also owns Nakilat, which is the world’s leading liquefied natural gas (LNG) transporter. “We now arrange cover for 63 LNG vessels for Al Koot,” says Sean, “including Q-Flex and Q-Max LNG carriers, as well as four liquefied petroleum gas carriers.”

The yard is based close to a huge industrial city 80km northeast of Doha. Qatar has a large portion of the world’s supply of natural gas and Ras Laffan has grown into a huge hub to support the production of liquefied natural gas and gas to liquid.

The companies operating there are at the forefront of the world’s energy. “The gas from Ras Laffan is going all over the world – including the gas terminal in the UK at Milford Haven, with a significant percentage of the UK’s gas now coming from Qatar,” adds Sean.

Alongside the port is a relatively new shipyard set out in the Arabian gulf, which has an excellent reputation and offers outstanding facilities and expertise. It is the result of separate joint ventures between Nakilat and Keppel Offshore and Marine (N/KOM), and Nakilat and Damen Shipyards Qatar (NDSQ).

It has two components:

  • N/KOM was established in 2007 and has grown to be one of the Middle East's leading shipyards, offering repair, conversion and construction services.
  • NDSQ was established in 2010 to carry out shipbuilding to the highest modern standards.

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For more information please contact Sean Woollerson, Senior Partner from the Marine Division on +44 (0)20 75583864