Bahrain's Arab Shipbuilding & Repair Yard Company (Asry) has created a fabrication and engineering division in a bold bid to become the Gulf's "leader in modular fabrication".

The new division will offer modular fabrication, steel structures, piping work, offshore structures, and vessel construction for oil and gas, power, petrochemical, and industrial projects.

There is "significant growth potential" in the region because a large chunk of fabrication and engineering contracts get given to companies outside the GCC, government-owned Asry said.

Asry said there were $490bn-worth of projects in the GCC it could target.

READ: 3D modelling has transformed the Gulf's prefabrication sector

With a waterside location providing an easy transport link, a 1.5km² work area, and more than 5,000 workers on site in Hidd, Asry said it had the potential to "quickly" become the Gulf's "leading fabrication facility". 

Fabrication and engineering has been part of Asry's work for more than 40 years, but the creation of a separate business unit will give it greater agility and ability to capitalise on opportunities in the market with limited competition. 

New developments in the petrochemical, desalination, and energy sector in Bahrain and the GCC have seen demand soar ahead of  supply, opening up a gap in the market that Asry believes can be profitable for the company.

Demand has jumped ahead of regional supply due to "insufficient" fabrication facilities in the region, and even fewer in Bahrain, chief executive officer of Asry, Andy Shaw, said.

"Due to this, much of the fabrication and engineering work is being contracted outside of the region, even from Bahrain," he added. "Asry can now be considered a preferred option for fabrication work in the region. We believe regional projects should be serviced by regional companies.”

Asry, formed in 1977, has steeped up its work in the fabrication field, building a boat landing platform for the LNG terminal under development in Bahrain this year.

The company – which recently got a new structure as a government-owned entity – now has four work divisions, which include: ship repair and conversion; rig repair and conversion; naval repair and conversion, and fabrication and engineering.