BY MARTIN UHLENFELDT
THE DANISH SHIPYARDS ARE DOING GREAT While many shipyards around the world are struggling with deficits and empty order books, things are going great for the Danish shipyards. Denmark is no longer building large ships, but we have a good hold of special ships, repairs and maintenance. The CEO of the trade association Danish Maritime, which counts yards among its members, sees a bright future. - There is a great willingness among our members to invest, says Jenny N. Braat, the CEO of Danish Maritime.
specialized ships is huge, but also quite old for many ship types. There are quite a few ships needing to be replaced.
- What has happened in Denmark is, that our shipyards have managed to find some strong niches, and thus have been strengthened, in a situation where the overall market has been extremely challenged.
Are not you afraid that China and Korea takes all of it? - If you look at the docks in Korea, those types of ships will not fit. It will not be a relevant market for them. The clear majority of specialized vessels will not be built in series of 5 or 10, and then painted in different colors.
- If we had built bulk carriers or container ships, the situation would probably have looked much different - they are very labor cost intensive, and that is not a stronghold for us. We must do something that requires knowledge and technological know-how, says Jenny N. Braat. On the construction side, we have a few yards in Denmark that have found good special areas. Like Karsten’s Shipyard in Skagen, which builds trawlers, Søby Shipyard, which is now launching an electric ferry, or Hvide Sande Shipyard and their Bøkfjord - the Danish Ship of the Year 2016. SPECIAL SHIPS - If we look at the global market, it is the construction of special vessels that’s progressing, whereas traditional cargo ships are facing difficult times. - Special ships is the segment where everyone expects there will be growth. The fleet of
- In the special ships, we build here in Denmark, we use the high level of technology that we have, and when it comes to this, we are good - really good - compared with the rest of the world. So, we’re very confident. REPAIR YARDS - When it comes to repair yards, we must realize that many ships are getting bigger and bigger. Therefore, it is important to many of the yards that they have flexibility. For example; two docks to choose from. If there is a ship docked in one, you can offer the other. And that is one of our specialties in Denmark - we can step in immediately. We are service-oriented, flexible, and we ensure that customers get what they want - at the time they want it. - Another thing is, that many shipowners have postponed as much as they can because of the crises. But at some point, they will be forced to live up to the legal demands. I believe that some of the work that has been postponed, soon will begin to flow. - The shipyards have realized that that the market is progressing. That’s why they are
investing. You can see lots of places: Petersen & Sørensen, Karstensens, Ørskov, Jobi, Hvide Sande, Hirtshals, Søby – just to name a few. It is a general trend in Denmark, that the shipyards believe in the future. HULL WORK - We’re seeing a brand new and positive development right now in Assens, where the shipyard has chosen to bring the hull work back to Denmark (For the first time in 30 years, Assens Shipyard builds a ship - a crab trawler for Greenland - from scratch.). This also emphasize that this is a growing industry. The Danish shipyards have invested a lot of money in increasing efficiency, and that’s why they can now take their hull work back to Denmark. That is very positive. SCRAPPING - There is no doubt that scrapping is a potentially large market, and we do also have some shipbreaking yards here in Denmark. It is expected that North Sea platforms worth 20 billion kroner will be scrapped in 2017, says Jenny N. Braat. - I still believe that the scrapping of ships in Denmark will be limited to smaller vessels. But in turn, there are good options when it comes to scrapping drilling rigs. But unfortunately, the Danish dismantling yards are restricted in their opportunities, because every drilling platform scrapped in Denmark will requires local approval. We have a quite long administrative processing time in Denmark, and it’s difficult to go out in the marked and say: We want to scrap - if the authorities allow us to do so. We’re making it very difficult for ourselves.
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danish maritime magazine