German Shipbuilder FSG Lays Keel for First Ship After Reorganization
A 50-ton section was lowered into place in the drydock at the Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG) marking the keel laying of a new vessel, but more importantly the first new construction order for the yard after its reorganization. A traditional keel-laying ceremony was held for newbuilding number 782 as the yard also celebrated its return to business.
FSG, which had specialized in ferry and ro-ro construction projects in recent years, filed for insolvency in April 2020 after struggling with declining finances and production problems. It posted a full-year loss of $120 million for 2019, driven primarily by delays and cost overruns on the ro/pax ferry W.B. Yeats being built for the Irish Continental Group.
Early in 2020, FSG agreed to cancel an additional contract for two ferries for TT-Line Tasmania, and then in June Brittany Ferries citing a lack of confidence in the yard also canceled the construction contract for its new ferry.
Investment companies belonging to Tennor Holding purchased the assets of the shipyard in September 2020. They promised to reorganize the business and maintain 350 employees.
“For FSG, today’s keel-laying marks an important milestone, as this is the first order after restructuring and relaunching the shipyard in September 2020. This shipbuilding project is also significant for our 380 employees, who are now back to doing what they do best: building highly efficient ships,” said the shipyard’s CEO Philipp Maracke.
IVP Ship Invest, a company owned by Lars Windhorst the founder of Tennor Holding, in November 2020 contracted FSG for the construction of the new ro-ro along with an option for a second ferry. Measuring 689 feet in length, the new vessel is based on FSG’s previous ro-ro designs and will incorporate elements to provide low fuel consumption as well as the efficient loading concepts on FSG’s previous ships. The new ro-ro is due for delivery by April 2022.
According to Maracke using the proven design provides an advantage both for the shipowner and the yard. Building a familiar design is aiding with the ramp-up of operations while also providing a strong opportunity for the shipyard in the training of its staff. Currently, there are 36 apprentices at the yard studying to learn shipbuilding.
Discussing the future plans for FSG, Maracke said, “The shipyard will diversify in the future and we will increasingly act as a reliable partner to the German Navy and in international naval shipbuilding. To this end, we can build on earlier projects, as FSG continues to have a good reputation as a naval shipyard, even though we focused on merchant ships in recent years.”
Philipp Maracke was named CEO of FSG starting his new position in November 2020 as part of Tenor’s reorganization of the operations. Previously he was a member of the management of German Naval Yards Kiel where developed his expertise in the naval shipbuilding sector.