Asia Pacific has record year and more exciting opportunities are on the horizon
Many years of building up a presence in the Asia Pacific region have really proven fruitful in 2012 when the region experienced a record order intake of € 300 million, with Vietnam, Australia, China and Indonesia all putting in a star performance.
Damen Area Director Asia Pacific, Pim Schuurman has been a frequent visitor since the early nineties. “This region has seen some impressive results but there are still plenty of opportunities for Damen to explore, both in terms of establishing partnerships with local shipyards and in expanding sales. Prospects for the next few years are very exciting.”
Damen already works with five shipyards in Vietnam, which provide employment for around 3,000 people. Production capacity will be extended towards the end of 2013 when Damen – for the first time – will have a majority-owned yard in the country.
Together with the local and well-established yard, Song Cam in Haiphong City, the new shipyard will be called Damen Song Cam Shipyard and Damen will have a 70% stake. With an ideal location and direct access to open sea, the yard is situated on a 42-hectare site in Haiphong City, near the River Cam.
New Vietnam yard gets the go-ahead
Ultimately, Damen intends to turn this yard into the largest yard in the entire group for medium sized vessels. Although the yard will have a 60-metre limit, this still means that it can accommodate around 90% of Damen’s vast portfolio. The production line will be entirely streamlined whereby a standard ASD Tug 2810 for instance, could be built every eight weeks. The new yard, where around 750 people will be employed on completion, is expected to be fully operational in the second quarter 2014 and the first phase by end-2013.
Currently, many Damen vessel types are being built across the country, including four Offshore Patrol Vessels for the Vietnamese Coast Guard and Navy, one of which has just been launched and will be delivered in the first quarter of 2013. Damen Salvage Tugs 4612 for the Vietnam Marine Police and a Fast Crew Supplier 5009 are also under construction.
Mr Schuurman comments: “Damen has built up a good reputation in Vietnam and is very well respected as a reliable partner. Indirectly, we help provide thousands of people with work.
“We started building locally in 2002 and have always had a good experience.” Originally, Damen had a contract for six Search and Rescue vessels (3x 42 m and 3x 27 m) of which five were built at Song Cam. “The order was completed successfully so it made sense to carry on building there because the yard had gained so much knowledge during the contract and we worked well together.”
160 vessels built in Vietnam
A decade on, Damen has built 160 ships in Vietnam, of which approximately 10% are for the local market.
China is another leading production centre, whereby the group works with three partner yards and Damen Shipyards Changde, which uniquely, is 100% owned by Damen. In China Damen builds vessels including pontoons, barges, high-speed craft, tugs and dredgers. The company is exploring further possibilities in the country for the production of offshore vessels.
In Indonesia, Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding is very busy with several defence contracts and other vessel types. But Damen is keen to explore this market further and has dedicated a Sales Manager to Indonesia. And indeed, Mr Schuurman is also aiming to add to his team with a Sales Manager for Japan and Korea too.
India is yet another country with vast potential and the group has recently employed a dedicated Sales Manager there. “India is such a vast country that we could use a similar model to that of Vietnam, where Damen partners local yards.”
We started building locally in Vietnam and have always had a good experience.
Super fast deliveries from Singapore
Damen Shipyards Singapore is also extremely busy. The yard has introduced an extremely high level of standardisation in its production line, whereby the Fast Crew Supplier 2610 is built in seven equal parts, with each section taking five weeks. This results in unbeatable delivery times of 35 weeks, combined with a frequency of one ship every five weeks.
But Damen is not stopping there and wants to cut delivery times down even further, reducing each section build time to just four weeks. “The management is completely focused on the whole process and trying to reduce the production time. Singapore is not the cheapest location to build but this yard is fantastically efficient. This increasing efficiency means that Damen can offer a very competitive price and it can deliver a top quality product in very fast delivery times.” Other types of vessels are also built in Singapore, such as 10 high-speed Patrol Boats that were built for the Singapore Police Coast Guard.
Australia too has had an exceptional year. Damen has just received an order for its 57th vessel in Australia!