Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding
Part of the Mitsui group, Mitsui & Co., Ltd. is the largest of Japan's general trading companies, known as sogo shosha. It was also the first such company, having been founded in 1876, and created the model for other sogo shosha that were formed later. These companies are general in nature both in that they handle a wide range of products and services in nearly every industry, and in that they can handle a broad range of functions.
Mitsui relied heavily on the shipping services of Mitsubishi. Since it operated a monopoly in maritime transportation, Mitsubishi was free to charge highly inflated rates for its services. Companies such as Mitsui, which were heavily dependent on shipping, suffered greatly at the hands of Mitsubishi. When Eiichi Shibusawa, an "enemy" of Mitsubishi's founder Yataro Iwasaki, decided that he would no longer tolerate the monopoly practices, he proposed to Masuda that Mitsui help him to establish a rival shipping company. What ensued has been described as one of the most publicized and deadly episodes of competition in Japanese economic history.
Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding was established in 1917 as the Shipbuilding Division of Mitsui & Co., Ltd. in Tamano City (Presently), Okayama Prefecture. The Tamano Works of Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding is comprised of three divisions; (1) Shipbuilding Division; (2) Steel Structures Division and (3)Process Plant and Machinery Division. The company was established in 1917 and has grew over the years to an employment level of approximately 6300 persons with an additional 46 subcontracting companies employing some 3,100 persons.The Shipbuilding Division was comprised of two sections: (1) The Newbuilding Section and (2) the Ship Repair Section.
The new construction section had the capacity to build tankers and ore carriers up to 140,000 dwt, as well as ships requiring high technology such as multi-purpose cargo ships, refrigerated cargo ships, container ships, LNG and LPG carriers. In addition, naval shipsand craft, offshore oil drilling rigs and other specialized equipment foroceanographic development, also constitute its major products.The Ship Repair Section, with its 150,000 dwt capacity floating dock and wellequipped mooring quays, can handle repairs and remodeling of ships of all types.
The Ship Repair Section is very proud of its reputation for high-quality work, having been designated as an authorized "Hull QA Yard" by several classification societies. The Steel Structures Division has built various steel structures such as penstocks, lock gates, bridges, large tanks, etc. Combining its steel structure technology with its shipbuilding techniques, the Steel Structures Division is active in the field of building oceanographic equipment, such as ocean platforms, oil drilling jacket modules and sea berths for large ships, as well as various structure for use in ports and harbors.
The Industrial Machinery and Plant Engineering Division manufactures rotary mchinery, electric machinery, cranes, chemical plants, boilers, heavy machinery for casting and forged products and diesel engines. Among the many "firsts" accomplished by the Shipbuilding Division of Mitsui is included the building of the world's first automated cargo ship, followed by the world's first diesel driven, three engine, three shaft, super high speed container ships. It was here that for the first time in Japan, the ship type offshore oil drilling rig was built.
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