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HDW looks to extend influence

Kiel, Germany, based Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG (HDW) is wellregarded as a premier shipbuilder throughout the world. Known for its ability to change with the market, HDW has recently completed an extensive yard refurbishment program — affecting everything from organization to automation. These changes — with the net affect of increasing production quality and precision while reducing production costs — are to ensure its viability well beyond the next century, despite negative market conditions such as expanding capacity and disappearing subsidies. According to Dr. Jiirgen Rohweder, the past 12 months have been good for the yard because all of the types of ships which fit into the yard's main scope of manufacture including containerships, ferries, cruise vessels and LNG carriers — have been in demand by the market. Dr. Rohweder also attributes the yard's recent success to its innovative technology, its flexibility and its high quality standards, to name a few.

While the immediate term market looks promising, he believes it is paramount to continually advance the yard's technical standards and to drive down production costs — in part by building cooperations with other yards — in order to realize long-term success.

While noting that competition is increased dramatically all over the world, Dr. Rohweder sees room for HDW's expansion of business in Europe, Southeast Asia, the U.S. and China.

By vessel type, HDW expects to see increases in the number of ferries and LNG carriers being built, where in the case of containerships and cruise ships, "a certain saturation may come up." For more information on HDW Circle 51 on Reader Service Card

 
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