Japanese Shipbuilders Agree Joint Venture
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has agreed on terms for an alliance with Imabari Shipbuilding and Namura Shipbuilding. Discussions toward a similar alliance with Oshima Shipbuilding continue.
The agreements cover a variety of core issues, including: development of new ship designs and innovative technologies, sharing of designs and workforce, standardization of engineering tools and fitting equipment and flexible application of each partner’s construction capabilities.
It is also expected that separate contracts will be concluded between MHI and each partner, stipulating how the alliance will be specifically applied to actual business operations.
MHI is looking to enhance business competitiveness around its core engineering strengths cultivated over many years, particularly in the areas of energy-saving and environmental technology. In the process, the company aims to further boost the presence of Japanese shipbuilders in the dramatically changing global shipbuilding industry.
“The agreements are targeted at achieving sustained growth through the pursuit of mutually complementary, synergy-generating alliances while respecting each partner’s independence, in an overall effort to strengthen the competitiveness of all alliance partners in the global marketplace,” said MHI in a statement.
Meanwhile, Kawasaki Heavy Industries announced that it is downsizing its ship and offshore structure operations in Japan by around 30 percent, having considered a range of options including the possibility of alliances with other yards.
“At the current time when the entire industry is in a slump, there is no solution that will immediately achieve the minimization of business risks, the avoidance of the effects of factory closures and the smooth completion of existing orders including offshore service vessels all at once,” said the company in a statement. “We judge that the most rational option to increase enterprise value is to reduce construction in Japan and shift it to China.”
The company has also decided to withdraw from the offshore structure sector, with the offshore service vessel for Norway that is currently in progress to be the final construction.
On Monday, Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding announced the establishment of a subsidiary in Shanghai, China, and an office in Busan City, Korea, to promote businesses in China and Korea.
Japan ranked second in newbuilding order backlog in 2016, ousting South Korea for the position behind the leading nation, China.