Helsinki Yard to Become a Ferry Builder

Tuesday, August 30, 2005
The Board of Aker Finnyard decided to take the steps necessary to make its Helsinki yard one of the most cost effective yards for building ferries in the industry. The site in Helsinki has become too small to meet the demand for today's ever growing cruise ship sizes, and expansion of the dry dock is not possible, given the location in the yard in the middle of the city of Helsinki. The activity at the yard has been low since the last cruise ship was delivered in February 2004.

As Aker Yards however is determined to continue shipbuilding activities in Helsinki, the plan is to focus on the assembly and outfitting of ferries. Two contracts for building of ferries were recently signed with Tallink and Brittany Ferries.

The steel blocks have already for some time been floated on barges to Helsinki from the Turku and Rauma units. The plan is also to move the management, design, sales and procurement functions now in Helsinki to Turku.

Negotiations will be carried out with the employee representatives as to the execution of the changes. Aker Yards' three Finnish yards in Helsinki, Rauma and Turku have since the beginning of 2005 been operating as one company and one organization, where both work and people have been flexibly shared between the three sites. Investments have been made in a new block factory in Turku, where 200 new employees will be recruited by the end of 2005. When recruiting in other units of Aker Finnyards, the personnel affected in Helsinki will be given priority.

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