Finland-based Meyer Turku shipyard has started the assembly of TUI Cruises ship Mein Schiff 6 with the laying of the first grandblock in the big building dock.
"After many months of planning and pre-production we are starting a very exciting period in the building of Mein Schiff 6: It will now only take 7 months until the ship is fully assembled from its grand blocks. This period in which the ship takes shape is then followed by further outfitting, commissioning and testing works," says Meyer Turku CEO Jan Meyer.
When ready in 2017, Mein Schiff 6 will measure approximately 294 meters long, have 15 decks with around 1,267 staterooms and the capacity to carry approximately 2,534 passengers. It is the final ship in the series.
Mein Schiff 6 will be the fourth high-technology cruise ship being built in Turku shipyard for TUI Cruises and the sixth ship built by the Meyer brand in total.
According to its builder, Mein Schiff 6 will feature a number of improvements in terms of energy efficiency and passenger amenities – even over its sister ships Mein Schiff 3-5, including an advanced exhaust cleaning system that uses a scrubber and catalytic converter, cutting sulphur emissions by approximately 99 percent and nitrogen oxide emissions by around 75 percent.
A new hybrid ferry owned by German-Danish ferry operator Scandlines left the Danish shipyard Fayard on April 20 to start its sea trials.
The new ferry is to be named Berlin at a ceremony scheduled for May 3, 2016. Once delivered, the ferry is scheduled to be deployed on the Rostock, Germany and Gedser, Denmark ferry route.
The hybrid ferry Berlin combines traditional diesel power with battery power.
Having completed a comprehensive test program, Berlin will be tested under usual and unusual conditions, according to Scandlines. After the sea trial, the vessel is expected to arrive at its future berth in Rostock.
According to Scandlines, the vessel has a space for 460 cars or 96 lorries and is able to accommodate 1,300 passengers.
Swedish owner Ektank has inked shipbuilding contracts with CSSC Chengxi Shipyard for the construction of four 18,600dwt chemical tankers.
The order is CSSC Chengxi's first-ever chemical tanker order.
The vessels are designed by FKAB and will be classified by DBV GL. Delivery will start from the first half of 2018.
Cosco (Zhoushan) Shipyard has won an order for up to eight aframax tankers – including four options – from Greece's Aegean Shipping Management.
The 113,000 dwt ships will start delivering in 2018.
George Melissanidis, chairman of Aegean Shipping, commented, "In this time of such global uncertainty and a dormant newbuilding market, we are renewing our commitment to international shipping.”
No price was given for the vessels, although brokers assume US$50m per unit is in the right ballpark.
China's leading shipbuilder Taizhou Sanfu Ship Engineering Co., Ltd. delivered a 64,000dwt bulk carrier to Thailand-based shipowner Precious Shipping on April 21, according to a domestic shipping news report.
The vessel measures 199.9m in length overall, 32.26m in breadth moulded, and 18.5m in depth moulded, with the designed draft of 11.3m and the service speed of 14.4 knots. It is classed by ClassNK.
Shreyas Shipping and Logistics has announced it has added a 1,613teu container vessel to its fleet.
"This new addition to our fleet has been named as MV SSL Visakhapatnam as we dedicate this vessel to the port city of Visakhapatnam. We are associated with the port of Visakhapatnam over a period now and are committed to the trade at large," said the company in a statement.
As the downturn in the number of new vessel orders last year took hold, shipyards' flexibility to switch sectors to take orders became a key factor in their ability to face up to an extremely challenging period. Tanker newbuild orders provided one source of business amongst the gloom, so how able did yards prove in demonstrating their adaptability to take advantage of this demand?
Tankers On the Table
The tanker sector was one of the few bright spots for shipbuilding in 2015, with the volume of new tonnage ordered reaching its highest level since 2008. A total of 456 tankers of a combined 49.5m dwt were contracted globally, an increase of 72% year-on-year. This was in stark contrast to the majority of other markets in which newbuilding interest in 2015 was muted. As a result, many yards struggling to secure new contracts, particularly for bulkers, diversified into the tanker sector.
While Korean yards took the largest share (46%) of tanker orders in 2015 in dwt terms, many shipbuilders in Japan and China which had not recently taken tanker contracts were particularly active in entering or returning to the sector. Looking at vessels of 60,000 dwt and above, 33 shipyards took an order in 2015, the highest total since 2006.
New, Flexible Friends
This compares to the 18 yards which took a 60,000+ dwt tanker order in 2013, when 528 tankers of 37.6m dwt were contracted. Of those 'extra' yards that didn't take any 60,000+ dwt tanker contracts in 2013, but did secure contracts in 2015, 5 had never previously taken a tanker order on record. A further 4 yards had not taken any tanker orders in the period 2010-14. The majority of these 9 shipyards were primarily bulkcarrier builders which diversified into the sector in 2015 as their normal source of new contracts dried up. As well as these 'new' players, there were also 2 yards which had taken tanker orders previously, but only for vessels under 60,000 dwt. Upsizing was a clear short-term trend in tanker ordering in 2015, with the average size of new orders reaching 108,500 dwt compared to 77,200 dwt in 2014, and some yards were able to win contracts for bigger vessels for the first time.
Changes in China, and Japan
The number of Japanese yards taking a tanker contract (60,000+ dwt) tripled between 2013 and 2015, with 9 yards taking a total of 47 orders last year. Meanwhile in China, 12 yards took orders last year for 81 tankers of 60,000+ dwt, up from 6 yards in 2013. The majority of the 'extra' builders across both countries were previously focused on the bulkcarrier sector, diversifying into tanker construction in order to secure new work. Outside of the major Asian builder countries, Spanish yard Navantia Ferrol notably signed contracts for 4 Suezmaxes, the first 60,000+ dwt tankers reported ordered at a Western European yard since 1998.
Overall then, the tanker sector provided some relief to shipyards in 2015. Many yards unable to find work building bulkcarriers took the opportunity to diversify into the healthier tanker sector, showing that flexibility is likely to be a key factor in how well shipyards will fare in a very challenging period.
Dubai-based shipping company Gulf Navigation Holding PJSC (GulfNav) is planning to add new tonnage to its fleet of product and chemical tankers and reinforce its shipping services business.
The fleet growth plan was announced by the company at a recent press conference, with GulfNav setting sights on new projects and activities in offshore support services, increasing shipping services and marine product sales and distribution through expansion of shipping services network within the Arabian Gulf and Gulf of Oman.
The plans also include engaging in trip time charters by working and trading vessels on spot hire; acquiring vessels on bare boat with purchase option; purchasing work boats for offshore projects; and building global network with business stakeholders and third-party owned vessel management under the Gulf Stolt Ship Management (GSSM) umbrella.
Specifically, GulfNav has acquired 100 percent stake of GSSM which was previously a 50/50 joint venture with Stolt Neilson to develop the in-house ship management arm.
Under the plan, Technical Services is proposed to be a ship repair maintenance and technical service provider. The new service facilities will be operating out of an existing Khorfakkan base of the company and cater to the shipping needs in the northern part of the UAE (Khorfakkan, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah) and Gulf of Oman.
The shipping company also revealed the appointment of Khamis Juma Buamim as the new Board Member, Managing Director and Group CEO who is set to head the company's restructuring process and lead its expansion plans.
The new MD & Group CEO was previously the Executive Chairman of Drydocks World and Maritime World from May 2010 until March 2015 and has led the organization through its restructuring during a global financial crisis.
"With his wealth of experience and knowledge in businesses turnarounds, he will be instrumental in seeing through the company to restructure its balance sheet and resolve residual issues. Most importantly, his prominent role and stellar reputation within the maritime sector make him uniquely capable to open new doors for GulfNav and create opportunities and partnerships to realize its expansion plans," said GulfNav's Chairman Abdulla Saeed Abdulla Brook Al Hemeiri.
The seventh and last from the batch of livestock carriers built by COSCO for Dutch shipping company Vroon has been recently launched at Chinese Cosco Guangdong Shipyard.
The carrier measures a length of 134.8m and a breadth of 19.6 meters.
Six newbuilding livestock carriers have already been delivered to the company by COSCO. The first two vessels were built in 2013, the other two in 2014, and the remaining two in 2016.
Vroon says that the vessels incorporate specific bow design ensuring comfort for cargo and crew while maintaining high speeds.
The vessels have a cargo capacity of approximately 4,600 m2, with a cruising range of around 18,000 NM.
Zhoushan Changhong International Shipyard Co., Ltd., a leading shipbuilder based in Zhejiang province, China, successfully launched a 63,500dwt bulk carrier being built for New Yangtze Navigation (Hong Kong) on April 19.
The vessel measures 199.99m in length overall, 32.26m in breadth moulded, and 18.50m in depth moulded, with the design draft of 11.30m. It is classed by LR.
It is said that the vessel is a second one in a series.