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Norwegicm Innovation Sburs Commercial Success

Norway is steeped inNmaritime culture, infused with a living, evolvin) I tradition that bears directly on the economic and industrial well-being of a progressive state. The Norwegians have always been a pioneering seagoing people, and that spirit of confidence and innovative thinking continues to be reflected in the maritime sector.

Quality and advanced technology are hallmarks of Norwegian products and services across the board in shipping, shipbuilding and allied fields, and a strong commitment by government and industry to collaborative research and development is indicative of a determination to keep the whole industry at the leading edge. For example, current studies focusing on information technology applied to ship operations, construction materials usage and the minimization of vessel emissions seek to strengthen the competitiveness of Norwegian equipment, machinery and systems producers, as well as shipping and shipbuilding.

Norway's maritime cluster is second only to the nation's energy industry in terms of economic^ impact and revenue generation. The ships' equipment sedfor alone employs approxinyftely 10,000 people in 200 companies, generating an annual turnover of around NOK 13 bill ion VAbout 70 percent of Norwegiansequipment makers' production As exported. Key recipients include yards specializing in high /alue newbuildings such as cr-yise vessels, containerships anc^nihe larger types of fast ferries.

Such is thfe interdependence of the maritime industries that newly implemented improvements in the tax regime for Norwegian shipowners can be expected to ultimately benefit the country's maritime infrastructure at large. Several years of decline in the size of the February, 1997 by David Tinsley Norwegian fleet was arrested in 1996. The Norwegian Shipowners Association is confident that the switch from corporation tax on lipping earnings to a moderate tonnage tax plus other measures will spost the Norwegian fleet and flag.

The inexorable shift of global shipbuilding influence to the Orient also ftas major implications for the supportondustries, notably, the marine equipment sector.

Characteristically, many Norwegian companies view^the tiger economies of the Asia^Pacific region as a challenge aaa a business opportunity, rather than as a threat. For i n s t a t e , lightweight shipbuilder Kvaenier Fjellstrand's Singaporean yard has enabled the company to Jfap the eastern Asian potential.ytn a new development, KvaerMf Fjellstrand Singapore is invoh^d with the Manila-based jany Negros Navigation in a » \ „ | V e r s a t i l e U l s t e i n V e r f t in U l s t e i n v i k . Pictured is t h e p o s i t i o n i n g of t h e f i r s t s e c t i o n of a s u r v e y vessel r e c e n t l y d e l i v e r e d t o S o u t h Korea.

joint study into the feasibility of setting up a shipyard in the Philippines to service both the expanding domestic and international markets for fast ferries.

The company's Norwegian operations, meanwhile, are being consolidated. Faced with the delivery of at least nine catamaran ferries from its Omasstrand yard during 1997, Kvaerner Fjellstrand has leased the former Rosendal Verft in Hardangerfjord to secure additional capacity for fabricating superstructures.

Kvaerner Ships Equipment's recent transfer of its corporate headquarters and senior management to Singapore from Tranby, just outside Oslo, points to a strategy aimed at getting closer to the core customer base as well as strengthening the company's presence in a growing market.

Acquisitive Kvaerner, while integrating the U.K. conglomerate Trafalgar House into the organization and suffering a downturn in profitability from its pulping and offshore activities, is sanguine about the prospects for its shipbuilding interests. Kvaerner, which is an essential element of the domestic shipbuilding industry, spent NOK 1.6 billion acquiring yards in Scotland, Finland and Germany between 1989 and 1992, which generated double that amount in net cash over the six years ending 1995.

Today, it ranks among the top ^e shipbuilders worldwide, in terois of physical capacity and ordelbook. The acquisition of the KleveiWxroup in 1990 restored an indigenoS^s steel shipbuilding capacity to \£vaerner, following the closure of the Fredriksstad yard in 1988.

Further shipbuilding expansion over the next few years will be strategic, as indicated by the 1996 takeover of Russia's JSC Vyborg Shipyard in the Gulf of Finland, and by the moves to buy a yard in China.

Target markets/for Kvaerner's shipbuilding interests, collectively, are predominantly in the sps^alized or jrapital-intensive categories. T h i s i n c l u d e s the unit cargo, r e e f e / ship, cruise and ferry, LNGC, LPGC, chemical tanker, shuttle carrier and Arctic oil and gas sectors^t^seaPhh and development ejxieavors are shaped by the k y i g ^ rm commitment 1 sophisticated end of the newbuilding business.

It is also developing advanced projects such as the innovative Sea Launch program.

The latter breaks new ground in spacp^fechnology Engineering, failing the construction million plus mothership at the Kvaerner Govan yard in Glasgow and a $78-million adaptation of the former North Sea oil platform Odyssey at the Kvaerner Rosenberg yard in Stavanger, Norway.

Falk has built a reputation in the marine drive industry. A reputation for dependability that has stood up as well as our equipment. Since 1916, Falk has been manufacturing straight reduction and reverse-reduction drives for virtually every type of marine vessel in operation. Our standard MRH and MR Series drives, as well as our custom-designed drives, all share important features: state-of-the-art engineering, durable materials, and quality assurance that starts in design and lasts through years and years of continuous, efficient operation.

There's a name for that kind of "no downtime" dependability. The name is Falk.

For more information about our marine drives, as well as other Falk equipment, call 1-800-545-5215 ext. 851, or your local Falk marine distributors: Marine Systems, Inc. 502-443-8900 Walker Boatyard 502-444-4061 West Kentucky Machine Shop, Inc. 502-444-0069 FALK Ship's Suppliers ajor>equipment suppliers such as Kvaerner, Ulstein, Ultveit Moe, Simrad a i d Kongsberg Norcontrol also offel yards the advantage of single so\rce purchasing for total systems pafck^ges, an attractive option for shipbuilders in today's times of tighter c<»t control and ever-shrinking workforces.

In recent montlfs, Norwegian ship supply speci^ist Unitor has landed its l a r g e y e v e r single contract. The $15piillion deal calls for turnkey prclect management and supply of thermal insulation systems to two] Hyundai-owned LNG carrier : newbuildings ordered in South iCorea. The Kvaerner and Ulstein groups account not only for a large slice of West Coast shipbuilding capacity, but also for much of the




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