Japan Shipyard Launches Ship, Shuts Shop

Thursday, March 08, 2012

MHI Kobe shipyard delivers ship then bows out of commercial shipbuilding

The christening and launch of a car carrier, named the EMERALD ACE, took place today at the Kobe Shipyard & Machinery Works of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), for delivery to Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. The ship represents the last commercial vessel to be built at the Kobe Shipyard in consequence of ongoing reorganization of MHI's production structure in the company's Shipbuilding & Ocean Development business segment. Delivery of the vessel to owners is slated for late June.

The EMERALD ACE, hull No.1296 built at the Kobe Shipyard, measures about 200 meters (m) in overall length, 32.26 m in breadth and 34.52 m in depth. The 60,200 gross tonnage vessel is capable of carrying 6,400 units (standard passenger cars) at a service speed of 20.65 knots. The vessel will be Mitsui O.S.K.'s first ship to have a hybrid electric power supply system onboard. By using power from an energy storage system consisting of a large-size photovoltaic power generation system and a lithium-ion rechargeable battery, the vessel at anchor can prevent emission of exhaust gas from a diesel power generator and thereby realize "zero" emission in harbor.

The production structure reorganization in MHI's Shipbuilding & Ocean Development business segment is the company's initiative to respond to today's rapidly shrinking shipbuilding market, attributable mainly to the impact of the global economic crisis. Through this initiative the company looks to shift production to higher value-added products and establish a business structure enabling it to weather demand fluctuations through enhanced management efficiency. In the course of the initiative the company is implementing production segregation among its three shipyards and promoting maximum utilization of human, facility and other operational resources.

Since its foundation in 1905, the Kobe Shipyard & Machinery Works has primarily handled the construction of container carriers, pure car carriers, submarines and deep submergence research vehicles. Following delivery of the EMERALD ACE, commercial vessel construction will be concentrated at the Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works and Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works. The Kobe Shipyard will boost its competitiveness through establishment of an enhanced operational structure, focusing on construction of submarines and deep submergence research vehicles.

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