Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ship Yard Development Continues Despite Glut of Freight and Container Vessels

Vessel Building Shifts Continents and Products
Shipping News Feature

BRAZIL – The situation concerning the construction and outfitting of a new, modern shipyard demonstrates how international such a business has become. The new facilities being constructed at São João da Barra, north east of Rio de Janeiro by OSX Brasil S.A. being a case in point. At a time when the glut of general freight, tankers and container vessels is causing problems one might wonder who could be persuaded to invest in such an ambitious project.

The answer becomes clear when one realises that OSX is a company formed specifically to target its home country’s oil and gas industry. Over decades traditional shipbuilding has moved from the epicentre of Europe into Asia with one of the primary centres being South Korea. OSX has drawn on that expertise by enlisting the assistance of that country’s Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) to develop the energy recovery construction business with a 10% stake in OSX Construcão Naval S.A., a yard aimed principally at the energy sector.

Brazil is slated to supply a large percentage of energy supplies for the foreseeable future and with massive recovery rigs and oil and gas transfer vessels traditionally constructed in Northern Europe and the Persian Gulf and towed vast distances as necessary it made sound commercial sense to OSX to establish a new facility on the South American doorstep using expertise from across the globe.

An example of this international cooperation comes this month with a contract that spans three continents to supply the expertise essential for building handling equipment capable of coping with the enormous parts which go to make up the sea going giants. With span of 186 meters and lifting capacity of 1,600 tons, the Goliath gantry crane ordered by OSX will be one of the biggest cranes in the Americas and will allow the assembly of large blocks or modules of offshore vessels.

European group Konecranes are to produce the design and components for the monster crane having received earlier this year an order from by Korean Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. (HSHI). HSHI is part of HHI and the world’s fifth largest shipbuilder and is manufacturing the Goliath in turn for OSX and their Korean partners HHI and this will be the twelfth order HSHI has placed with Konecranes. Jussi Rautiainen, General Manager, Konecranes Shipyard Cranes division says:

“We are very happy that HSHI wanted to continue the long relationship with us. As a result of our cooperation, OSX will get a Goliath crane of the very latest technology. During the next coming years, Brazil will be our most important market for shipyard cranes. Each new and happy customer in this region is a great support for us acting on the new crane markets and further developing our regional service network.”

Konecranes realise that their future is inexorably linked to the burgeoning South American market and freely admit that the Brazilian market will be the most important for their shipyard crane business for years to come.