Marine Link
Thursday, April 15, 2021


A digest of business happenings in the shipbuilding and ship repair markets in the Far East. The Japanese government has said that it is in agreement with OECD proposals for ending shipbuilding subsidies as well as outlawing price dumping. The Japanese Diet has, in fact, now ratified the OECD proposal set before it.

The Japanese shipbuilding industry received export orders for a total of nine ships (350,000 gt) in May, compared with 27 ships (880,000 gt) in April. Also in May, 18 ships (548,661 gt) were delivered, leaving a total export orderbook of 371 ships (13,997,415 gt).

The bulk carrier market is currently the most successful one for the Japanese, with recent orders including: • Four 72,000-dwt units ordered by Malaysian International Shipping Corp. (MISC) from Sasebo Heavy Industries ($28 million each); • Three ships (one 73,000-dwt and two 45,000-dwt) ordered by Hong Kong's Golden Ocean Management from Tsuneishi Shipyard; • Two 28,152-dwt ships from Colonial Investment, also from Tsuneishi; and • Two 74,000-dwt vessels ordered by Greece's John Samonas from NKK Corp.

On the tanker side, U.S.-based chemical tanker specialist Stolt Nielsen has entered into an agreement with Fukuoka Shipbuilding for a series of four 11,500-dwt chemical tankers. The ships are to be used by Stolt NYK Asia Pacific Service.

DHI lands Aframax Deal In the South Korean shipbuilding industry, Finnish shipowner Lundqvist has ordered an aframax tanker (with an option) from Daewoo e a v y I n d u s t r i e s (DHI). DHI is also building four similarly sized tankers for Greek s h i p o w n e r K r i s t e n Navigation, which is part of the Anangel Group. Another South Korean yard to benefit from the international market is Hanjin Heavy Industries Corp. (HHIC), with German shipowner Hansa Treuhand placing a $120-million order for four 1,600-TEU containerships, in addition to the two that were ordered during April.

China Shipbuilding Corp. Woos German Owner In the meantime, Taiwan's China Shipbuilding Corp. has made its mark on the international market with an order from Germany's Rederei Bertram Rickmers for a series of six 2,226 TEU containerships. This is a new move for the German shipowning company which, over recent years, has favored Polish yards.

SKD Invests In Repair Facilities Japan's Shin Kurushima Dockyard (SKD) has invested $12.8 million in expanding its repair capabilities at its Tokushima shipyard in Komatsujima by ordering a new floating dock from Hitachi Zosen. The company will now integrate all ship repair work at Tokushima and focus newbuilding at Ohira shipyard in Hiroshima. The new, 6,000-grt capacity floating dock will be the third at Tokushima. Two others have respective capacities of 2,000 and 3,200 grt. The latest dock will be completed at Hitachi Zosen's Innoshima shipyard in July, and towed to Tokushima for installation and full operation this month. The 2,000-grt capacity drydock is due to be scrapped once the new facility is operational. Shin Kurushima Dockyard has seen a steady decline in its earnings from the ship repair business.

Miami Holding Gets lift From Far Eastern Business Miami-based Syncrolift has been busy with some new orders from the Far East.

Indonesia's PT Batamas has ordered a 5,700- ton lifting capacity unit; Singapore Technologies has ordered a 5,000-ton unit to complement the existing 3,500-ton unit, which was installed in 1972; and Australia's Darwin Ship repair & Engineering ordered a 2,500-ton unit. Meanwhile, Malaysia Shipbuilding & Engineering (MSE), Pasir Gudang, is in the process of installing a panamax-capacity unit. Investments Abroad (Potentially) Reap Big Rewards South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Heavy Industries (DHI) has now completed the acquisition of a controlling interest in Romania's 2 Mai Shipyard, located near the Bulgarian border south of Constantza Port. This deal gives the Far Eastern company management-control of one of the largest shipbuilders on the Black Sea. DHI will take a 51 percent stake in the new joint venture company, called Daewoo Mangalia Heavy Industries, for $53 million. The yard will give DHI a headquarters from which to chase repair work in the wider Black Sea area, as well as in the Mediterranean. DHI's cash injection is expected to lift shipbuilding productivity and more than double repair capacity. Another South Korean shipbuilder involved in overseas developments is Halla Engineering & Heavy Industries, which is planning to set up a shipbuilding complex in Vietnam at Vung Tau. The yard will have the capability of building ships up to 30,000 dwt and repairing ships up to 60,000 dwt.

A sign that the cost of newbuilding is rising in the South Korean shipbuilding industry was recently seen with Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) beginning a deal with a mainland Chinese shipyard (Ningbo Shipyard) for the construction of hulls. This building yard in China will be 100 percent controlled by SHI and its goal is to reduce newbuilding costs in South Korea with the use of Chinese labor.

Malaysian shipowner Halim Mazmin and Japan's Tsuneishi Shipbuilding are teaming up to build a ship repair facility on the east coast of Malaysia, near Kemaman. The partners have set up Kemaman Heavy Industries (KHI), a new company which is 40 percent owned by Halim Mazmin; 30 percent owned by Tsuneishi Shipbuilding and 30 percent by other Malaysian interests.

The new development will take up a 25-hectare site. For the first phase, KHI will have a drydock, a slipway and a floating dock, and will focus on ship repair for at least the first two years, before expanding into shipbuilding and other markets. Halim Mazmin currently estimates the total market value for ship repair in Malaysia to be approximately $275 million per year.

New Dock, No Waiting Singapore's Keppel Shipyard has recently opened a new $100-million graving dock at its Tuas yard, the dock capable of accommodating ULCC vessels up to 360,000 dwt. The new facility will be inaugurated in the third quarter of this year. The graving dock was built by KEFujita, a joint venture between Keppel Engineering (KE), which is a subsidiary of Keppel Integrated Engineering, and Fujita Corp. of Japan. The new dock complements two other graving docks at its Tuas yard, the largest being 1,164.6 x 196.8 ft. (355 x 60 m), capable of accommodating vessels up to 330,000 dwt (ULCC).

The first ship to use the new facility was the 69,999-dwt, Vanuatu-registered tanker Petrobulk Mars, which is owned by Amsterdam's Ness Shipping (Holland) Ltd., with the 258,082- dwt Panamanian VLCC Phoenix Trader being the first VLCC to be docked. She is owned by Mitsui OSK Lines of Tokyo.

Meanwhile, there has been some more reorganization at Keppel. K.C. Leong, who was recently replaced at Keppel Cairncross in Australia by C.H. Tong, has decided to leave the company and join Thailand's Unithai. He will be followed by two or three section leaders from Keppel.

Earlier this summer, Petroleum Shipping, Southampton, the managers of Exxon's international fleet, decided to allow Singapore's Keppel to quote again for drydocking work. Relations had severed between the two companies following a bribery scandal during June 1995, which resulted in a member of Esso's technical team receiving a three-year custodial sentence in the U.K. The first ship to be offered for quote by Petroleum Shipping was the 307,235-dwt Geneva. However, Geneva and the similarly-sized Kawasaki were finally awarded to Malaysian Shipbuilding & Engineering. From Two Comes One A rather remarkable repair operation has taken place in South Korea's Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD), Ulsan, showing the type of innovative projects undertaken in the repair industry. Spanish shipowner Empressa Nacional Elcano de la Marine Mercante SA, Madrid, has taken two of its capesize ships into the yard, with only one coming out again for future service.

The ships involved are the 173,187-dwt bulk carrier Castillo de la Luz and the 130,187-dwt tanker Castillo de Montearagon, both of which have the same principal particulars.

The yard has taken the forebody of the bulk carrier and the aft section of the tanker (engine room and accommodation), and joined the two sections together to form a new bulk carrier. The new ship will be named Castillo de Belmonte.

Meanwhile, the two "redundant" sections have also been joined for a voyage to the scrap yard.

However unusual it may seem, the history of the two ships illustrates that this type of operation has been performed before. Both ships were originally built as conventional tankers by Spain's Empressa Nacional Bazan, El Ferrol, during the mid-1970s. During 1984, a new after section was built by the same Spanish shipyard for the Castillo de Montearagon replacing the ship's original engine room and accommodation. Then, in 1987, a new forward section was placed on the Castillo de la Luz, changing her role to a bulk carrier. At the same time, the boilers for the main propulsion plant onboard the Castillo de la Luz were changed to coal-fired. All of this work was carried out by the Bazan shipyard. It is the two 1980s-built sections that have been joined to form Castillo de Belmonte.

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