Meyer news lifts poor year for Germans

30 Dec 2011
Meyer’s ‘Disney Fantasy’ is ready for the off, and one of 20 for Meyer Group

Meyer’s ‘Disney Fantasy’ is ready for the off, and one of 20 for Meyer Group

German newbuilding yards in general can look back on a depressing production year in 2011, but leading facility Meyer Werft reports good business and work in hand on 20 ships up to 2014, writes Tom Todd.

The yard said that at year’s end eight ocean-going cruise ships, 10 river cruise ships, a gas tanker and a research ship were on its books. Nine of the ships will be built at Meyer Werft in Papenburg and 11 at subsidiary Neptun Werft in Rostock/Warnemuende. The workload has had a positive effect on jobs, securing 280 apprenticeships at Meyer and 70 at Neptun.

In 2012 Meyer will deliver three ocean-going cruise ships.The 128,000 gt Disney Fantasy floats out 7 January for hand-over in early February and the 71,000gt AIDAmar is for hand-over in May. The 126,000 gt Celebrity Reflection is for completion September and the yard’s first LNG tanker for Anthony Veder at year’s end. Neptun will deliver an impressive seven inland newbuildings in 2012 – one in March for A-ROSA and six for Viking River Cruises between February and August.

In 2011 Meyer delivered the 71,000gt AIDAsol and the 122,000gt Celebrity Silhouette while Neptun handed over two river cruise ship newbuildings and completed its first ferry Schleswig-Holstein.

The Meyer output is well above the national German yard average in 2011. Preliminary figures suggest that total German production this past year was not much more than about 24 new ships from some 10 yards.

The figure contrasts with 31 ships delivered in 2010, 44 in 2009 and 70 in 2008 when container ships still made up the bulk of newbuilding. Still dramatically pointing up the loss of that and other traditional German building sectors were the 108 ships delivered in 2011 to German shipowners by Asian yards, mainly in China and South Korea.

It’s not all gloom for the Germans, however. New specialist orders taken during 2011, some of them impressive series orders, suggest that 2012 could see improvement all round in fortunes with the local offshore wind energy transport and installation sector already providing welcome newbuild and conversion work.

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