Two Japanese Yards Agree Cooperation
Japan's Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding and Tsuneishi Shipbuilding have finalized an agreement on commercial ship building.
The companies announced discussions had begun on February 1, 2018. The agreement reached involves collaboration on design, development capacity and cost competitiveness, while maintaining independent management.
The two companies will consider collaborations in the areas of existing and future technologies and will seek to increase their opportunities to secure orders by shortening design periods and increasing their product lineups. By exchanging technical information, they will seek to make effective use of the strengths of each company.
The companies will also work to achieve more effective procurement through joint utilization distribution channels and suppliers. Through unification and mutual standardization of design standards and specifications, the companies aim to expand and increase procurement possibilities for the same items.
By making mutual effective use of manufacturing facilities owned by the companies both in Japan and overseas (including outsourcing shipbuilding and ship's hull block, etc.), the companies will seek to expand and increase their manufacturing capabilities and enhance their cost competitiveness in manufacturing.
Competition from Chinese and South Korean yards has led to a number of alliances and operational changes in Japan over the last year. In December last year, Kawasaki Heavy Industries indicated it will step up its commercial shipbuilding operations in China and reduce production in Japan. Specifically, the yard will boost capacity at a facility in Dalian that is jointly operated with COSCO.
In June last year, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries reached an agreement with Oshima Shipbuilding to form a commercial shipbuilding alliance. The agreement established a technical alliance to focus on the development of new ship designs and technologies, standardization of design and construction and efficient shared use of tools and equipment. The alliance followed on from a previous agreement reached at the end of March last year between Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Imabari Shipbuilding and Namura Shipbuilding.
In January 2018, Japan's largest shipbuilder Imabari Shipbuilding announced acquisition of domestic rival Minaminippon Shipbuilding as of April 1. The yard says the move will boost production capacity and international competitiveness. Minaminippon mainly builds and repairs tankers and vehicle carriers. It has annual sales of about $180 million, reports media outlet NHK World. Minaminippon's shareholders include Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines.