Japanese Shipbuilders Form Alliances


Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has reached basic agreements with Imabari Shipbuilding and Namura Shipbuilding in the wake of ongoing discussions focused on forming alliances in the commercial ship business.

The alliances will help to boost the presence of Japanese shipbuilders in the changing global shipbuilding industry, which is experiencing a downturn due to the lack of demand for new ships and intense Asian competition for business as South Korea, China, and Japan account for almost the entire global shipbuilding market.

The newly completed basic agreements cover a variety of core issues, including the development of new ship designs and innovative technologies, sharing of designs and workforce, standardisation of engineering tools and fitting equipment, and flexible application of each partner’s construction capabilities.

MHI is looking to enhance its core engineering strengths in energy-saving and environmental technology and separate contracts are expected to be concluded between MHI and each partner stipulating how the alliance will be applied to operations.

MHI is also trying to conclude a similar alliance with another Japanese firm Oshima Shipbuilding.

In an announcement, MHI said: “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.”

South Korean firm Samsung Heavy Industries, one of the largest shipbuilders in the world, recently announced that it had broken the world record for building the largest continership surpassing 20,000 TEU.

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