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Romania - Naval Construction

As of 2009 the Romanian shipbuilding industry ranked 10th in the world in terms of gross tonnage production. The Romanian shipyards development was influenced by fundamental changes in keeping with the terms of the outlet market. In 1989, over 80% of the output was designed to the domestic market, while 85% of the export activities were oriented towards the CMEA countries. Currently, 70-80% of the output is meant for export towards EU, China, South Africa and Norway. Two foreign investors (Daewoo & Darumen) bought the main shipyards (Mangalia&Galati) and the privatization process is still at work in this industrial branch. South Korea's GDP per capita on a purchasing power parity [PPP] basis for 2011 was $31,700, while in Romania it was $12,300.

Naval fleets consist of very different types of ship, usually highly specialised, with very strict requirements, such as frigates, amphibious ships, submarines or mine hunters. But the Korean yards are focused on commercial production. Romanian access to the Black Sea and over 1000 km of natural border formed by the Danube River that crosses the territory of Romania led to the development of shipbuilding for over 160 years. The long tradition of shipbuilding led to the development of a higher education system in order to ensure highly skilled specialists, a strong research and design data bank. Both the "Dunarea de Jos" University and the ICEPRONAV Institute are located in Galati. For a better view of the engineering potential, here are some of the facilities of ICEPRONAV institute:

  • cavitation tunnel for studying the propulsion installation and the leakage around the bottom hulls
  • grad resistance laboratory with two towing tanks for the study of propulsion and the ship behavior in real conditions
  • maneuvering laboratory also equipped with testing (tank)
  • computer assisted design system
Romania shipyards are generally specialized in building merchant ships used for freight transport. The main types of ships build so far are:
  • bulk carries between 25000 and 170000 tdw
  • tankers between 5000 and 150000 tdw
  • cargo ships (port container ship Ro-Ro and general commodities cargo ships) between 2000 and 18000 tdw
  • fishing vessels
  • tow boats/pushers between 300 and 60000 HP
  • barges up to 4500 to.
It is worth to mention the repair and conversion activities carried out mainly at the shipyards of Mangalia, Midia and Tulcea. The other shipyards on the Danube River also have workshops for repairs. A wide range of equipment is produced here such as:
  • ship Diesel engines under MAN, Burmeister&Wein, Alco, Sulzer license up to 20000 HP
  • ship propeller with a max. diameter of 9 m
  • boilers up to 30 to. steam/h
  • deck equipment
  • ship electric pumps
  • anchors The shipyards at Mangalia, south of Constanta, are the fourth largest in Europe. A member of PATROMIL, it is engaged in design, development, production, trade, repairs, modifications and dismantling of all range of civil and military ships, construction and repairs of tanks, metal works. With steel from Galati and a 1200-ton capacity crane, Mangalia is highly competitive in the industry. As of 2012, no military vessels had been built by this yard, which is focused mainly on container ships.

    A Korean (51 percent) and Romanian (49 percent) joint enterprise, Mangalia's aim is to be the largest shipyard in Europe. As of 2008 the financial crisis had not hit shippers: Mangalia's shipyard was fully booked through 2012-2014, but since financing of ships is incremental, with full payment only upon delivery, problems may lie ahead. After developing suitable business programs the company has an annual construction capacity equipaments to eight vessel per year for bulk carriers of 180,000 DWT and/or containerships of 11,000 TEU.

    State-of-the-art technology, high production techniques and quality standards, continuous support from Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Ltd. (DSME), in brief, a continuous preoccupation for excellence, is the best definition of the ten years Daewoo–Mangalia Heavy Industries S.A. (DMHI) has had in Romania so far from its establishment on 22 January 1997 as a joint venture company between DSME (Korea) and Mangalia 2nd of May Shipyard S.A. (Romania).

    Since DMHI was established, in the first 10 years the yard delivered nearly 120 projects, from pontoons, floating docks and barges to container–ships, tankers, supply vessels and coasters. In late 2004, Daewoo–Mangalia Heavy Industries S.A. launched „Vision 5”, a management strategy plan, and set to increase its turn-over by US$ 500m over the coming five years and to become one of the „best shipyards in Europe”. In April 2005, DMHI achieved an orderbook in excess of US$ 1bn. At the end of 2006 DMHI sales volume was in the region of US$ 300m.

    Aker Yards was the biggest shipyard in Europe, as well as the world leader on the market targets represented by cruises and ferryboats, commercial ships and offshore platforms. The Aker Yards group included 17 shipyards located in six European countries and in Brazil. Clients from all over the world admit the ability of the shipyards that are part of the Aker Yards group to project and build ships that correspond to the highest quality standards. Starting with 1996, Aker Yards launches the activity expansion process, acquiring important shipyards in Germany, Finland, Norway, France, Ukraine and Brazil. In 2000, it focuses towards Romania, acquiring the shipyard from Tulcea, and then, in 2003, another one in Braila. Aker Tulcea represented an important subsidiary from the strategy portfolio point of view of the Aker Yards multinational group; it is designed for the market target represented by offshore platforms and specialized ships, being the main provider of ship structures for the group’s shipyards that don’t have facilities for the production. Aker Yards, through Aker Brattvaag subsidiary, controlled 70 percent of the shares of the shipyards in Braila and Tulcea (south-eastern Romanian harbors on the Danube).

    The Aker Braila ship building and repair company posted losses of 3.94 million euros in the first nine months of 2007, which was 3.55 times more than in same period one year before. As of January 2009 Aker Shipyard in Braila (north-east of Bucharest) had orders until 2010 both for own staff and for the subcontracting companies. According to the manager of Aker Braila Shipyard, the company had orders till 2010 for ships servicing the oil platforms.

    In 2010 the Norwiegian company Aker was acquired by STX, a Korean company. STX OSV is a major global shipbuilder, constructing offshore and specialized vessels used in the offshore oil and gas exploration & production and oil services industries. The core business is innovative design and construction of complex and highly customized OSV's, including PSV's, AHTS's and advanced OSCV's. In addition, it produces specialized vessels such as LNG-powered ferries, naval and coast guard vessels, fishing vessels and non-offshore related icebreakers with customers-specific applications. STX OSV has nine shipbuilding facilities worldwide – five in Norway, two in Romania [at STX Tulcea and STX Braila], one in Brazil and one in Vietnam.

    The International Contract Engineering (ICE) group is one of Europe's largest independent naval architecture and marine engineering consultants. With its head office in the Isle of Man, ICE provides services from several locations, including Icepronav Engineering SRL, located in Galati, Romania. During its 40 year history the ICE Group has diversified its scope of services from being primarily a European ship design firm to also providing engineering expertise and assistance to major international clients in the offshore and onshore oil and gas industry, to large defence contractors as well as to family-owned ship-owners. ICE has been involved in a wide range of naval projects such as destroyers, frigates, fast patrol vessels, auxiliary vessels, submarine hunters, river mine-sweepers, fast attack torpedo craft and seagoing degaussing vessels. Since 2003 ICE has been appointed by BAE Systems as the Platform Design Authority for the reactivation and ongoing technical support of two frigates for the Romanian Navy.



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