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HANSA 02-2019

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Schiffstechnik | Ship

Schiffstechnik | Ship Technology In the meantime, the »Roald Amundsen« was launched Owner’s umbrella helps Kleven Shipyard, but … © Kleven In challenging times, the Norwegian shipyard Kleven profits from the »protective shield« of the new owner, the shipowner Hurtigruten. But new and further orders are necessary and time is running short. By Michael Meyer Apart from a current newbuilding programme, the Norwegian shipping company is also planning further expedition cruise vessels and retrofits from which Kleven could benefit. New orders would be more than welcome there. The shipyard might be used as an example: A full capacity utilisation is not an automatism if you are 100% subsidiary of a successful shipping company. Currently, the shipyard with 1,100 employees in Ulsteinvik in western Norway lists two ultra-modern hybrid expedition ships for Hurtigruten and an anchor handling tug for Maersk – the last of a series of six – in its order book. For the time after, however, there is still no business, as shipyard boss Olav Nakken confirms to HANSA. The CEO hasn’t been with Kleven for too long, previously he was active for the shipyard in Wismar, which at the time was an Aker company. »We need new orders«, the experienced shipbuilder, who reports a »good dialogue« with potential customers, admits. »One passenger ship newbuilding per year would be good«. According to Nakken, Kleven currently bids for various projects in various markets. The shipyard had focused on this segment after the offshore market collapsed a few years ago. The CEO calls this »the turning point«. Although he considers a backshift to be possible and feasible in principle, the market will probably not be able to do so in the short term. After the Second World War, the yard, which was only a few years old, was primarily active in the repair market for 15 years, above all for the reconstruction of the Norwegian fishing fleet. From 1960 onwards, there was also an increase in newbuilding business. Since the turn of the millennium, offshore ships, yachts, cost-guard units as well as special ships and ferries have been built. In the doldrums of the shipbuilding industry and in order to attract additional business, Nakken also relied on steel construction, an area that had actually already been outsourced a couple of years ago. Consequently, the shipyard has introduced a modular construction and acquired a welding robot that is supposed to ensure high efficiency. Kleven has already done steel work for the competitor in the immediate vicinity, the large Ulstein Group, among others. There have also already been cooperations with the German Lürssen Group or Polish shipyards. Currently there is no joint project with Lürssen. »But cooperation is a good option, we are open,« says Nakken. The owner Hurtigruten also rates this as »important«, however, according to CEO Daniel Skjeldam there is nothing concrete at the moment. A little relaxation could come if and when Hurtigruten also releases the third planned newbuilding. This is clearly Nakken’s top priority. A letter of intent has already been signed and the contract is 54 HANSA International Maritime Journal – 156. Jahrgang – 2019 – Nr. 2

Schiffstechnik | Ship Technology © Meyer © Hurtigruten Olav Nakken, CEO Kleven Shipyard Daniel Skjeldam, CEO Hurtigruten now to be finalised promptly, as both sides affirm. Nakken is confident that they are working hard on the details and can start construction in April. Skjeldam is also optimistic that the project will make progress. After some delays, the »Roald Amundsen« and »Fridtjof Nansen« are to be delivered in the 1st quarter and towards the end of the 3rd quarter of 2019. Hurtigruten is already working on further newbuildings: »We want and will order additional ships, but it is not yet clear when and where,« Skjeldam tells HANSA. He does not reveal details about ship type and propulsion technology or a possible timetable for the time being. Neither have any orders yet been awarded for the already announced LNG hybrid propulsion systems conversions of up to nine existing Hurtigruten vessels. Kleven would very much like to get a piece of this cake, they would certainly do the balance good. However, as Hurtigruten boss Skjeldam now makes clear, at least the first conversions will take place at other shipyards, »simply because we have no free capacities at Kleven as long as the newbuildings have not been delivered,« says the ship owner, whose company fully owns the shipyard. In recent years, the Fosen shipyard on the Trondheimfjord, among others, had secured several repair orders from Hurtigruten. Despite its own problems, the company from Rissa is also an option for future projects – perhaps even in cooperation with the German shipyard Nordseewerke in Emden, which was taken over at the end of 2018. Skjeldam leaves it open whether and how many of the upcoming retrofits will take place at Kleven. The award of this contract will depend on whether, when and where newbuildings will be ordered. A new welding robot that is supposed to ensure high efficiency © Meyer It seems certain at least that Hurtigruten will not sell the »new« daughter at least in the near term. In the summer of 2018, it took over the shipyard completely. Kleven had previously undergone a restructuring in the course of which new owners, including the Bremen-based Lürssen Group, had taken over 40% of the shares, according to reports, for NOK 300 million (around € 31 million). An unexpected rise in costs for several projects had necessitated a further capital injection. When Hurtigruten finally took over the full 100%, there were various speculations that it could leave again after delivery of the newbuildings if the shipping company no longer had any use for its own shipyard. Today, Skjeldam is impressed by the know-how and the work of the shipbuilders. »We will stay here,« he assures. After all, they want to order new ships, the fleet is planned to grow from today’s 14 with the current newbuildings to 17 and then to at least 20 ships. In addition, the existing fleet will be modernised and partly converted. These plans are not supposed to change, even not as a result of an unfamiliar, new competition. Hurtigruten ships have been part of the Norwegian coastal service since 1893. Today, eleven ships call at 34 ports. As one of the leading providers of sustainable expedition sea voyages, Hurtigruten also has ships for expeditions to polar regions and Latin America. For »traditional« business, however, there is now a new competitor. In mid- March 2018, the Norwegian Ministry of Transport announced that the state-licensed mail shipping service, which is subsidised annually with around € 82 million to secure the supply of the numerous small coastal communities, will be operated by two providers, Hurtigruten and Havila Kystruten, from 2021 to 2030. The newcomer Havila, which has been operating in the offshore sector up to now, will operate with four newbuildings. Nevertheless, Hurtigruten is not afraid. »We don’t see this as a threat,« assures Skjeldam adding, »this will have no effect on our fleet plans. It stays that way.« The two newbuildings now under construction are intended to set new standards in the constantly growing market for expedition cruise ships. A hybrid system, consisting of a diesel-electric engine and a battery pack, will provide the propulsion. It is to be used primarily for peak shaving, i.e. to cover consumption peaks so no second generator has to be switched on. The experience Kleven is currently gathering with this system should be very helpful for negotiations on further orders. n HANSA International Maritime Journal – 156. Jahrgang – 2019 – Nr. 2 55

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