The tradition of shipbuilding in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania to be continued – with new focus on cruise ships
An investor has been found in Malaysia’s Genting Group to enable the continued existence of the three shipyards in Wismar, Rostock and Stralsund. The takeover contract was signed in Hamburg on Tuesday this week. In the weeks following the conclusion of the applicable checks by the authorities, the takeover will become final and business operations will be transferred to the Genting Group. At the start of the year Genting, a major cooperation with worldwide operations, acquired all the shares in Bremerhaven’s Lloyd Werft. The result is a group consisting of four shipyards in Northern Germany.
Nordic Yards said it has been analyzing the cruise ship market since early 2014. The company has been concentrating on this segment in response to stagnating or even falling developments in the fields of offshore wind, offshore oil and gas and on the Russian market. Strategies were revised at an early stage in order to align the company with future market developments. Interest on the part of Genting in Nordic Yards arose as a result of these activities.
The Genting conglomerate, which owns the world's third-largest shipping company, will represent a strong strategic investor. The shipping lines Star Cruises, Dream Cruises, Crystal Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line are all part of the Genting Group. Direct access to the cruise ship market, acquisition of the former Nordic locations in Wismar, Rostock and Stralsund and the know-how of the workforce will provide Genting Group with the ideal preconditions for the fast-growing cruise market.
The requirement that the entire workforce should be kept on was fulfilled: “For me it went without saying that every member of the workforce should be kept on and their know-how and experience retained, so that the contribution made by the maritime industry can be safeguarded for the region in the long-term,” said Dr. Herbert Aly, Managing Director of Nordic Yards. The transfer of the Nordic Yards workforce will be implemented in several phases, which are connected with progress on the DolWin gamma platform. “Nordic Yards will meet its contractual obligations towards GE,” Dr. Aly added.
Currently 1,400 workers are employed at the three locations of Wismar, Warnemünde and Stralsund. In addition, over the past six years 50 percent of the companies supplying the shipyard group have been based in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, which in turn has generated employment for several thousand people.
Since Vitaly Yusufov took over the shipbuilding company with its long traditions in the year 2009, more than 1,400 jobs have been created at three locations. In that time three offshore converter platforms have been built and delivered to Siemens, while a fourth for the GE group is currently under construction. Further vessels which have been built include an Arctic tanker, an offshore maintenance vessel and two icebreaking rescue ships. With 500 new jobs in the last four years Nordic Yards has been one of the fastest organically growing companies in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.