• Shipyards´ future in special projects

Shipyards´ future in special proje...

Shipyards´ future in special projects

The uncertainty caused by shrinkage in the shipbuilding sector affected Özata Shipyard, along with the effects of the global crisis. Nevertheless, winning the contract for building Izmir passenger ships boosted their spirit. 
Özata Shipyard has become one of the shipyards turning to "featured shipbuilding" projects during the crisis that is continuing in the maritime sector since 2008. 

Still working at a 30 percent capacity on a land of 50 decares in Yalova, Özata Shipyard continues its way with the new projects it has undertaken at home and abroad, besides undertaking Izmir Metropolitan Municipality´s tender of construction of 15 passenger ships to be made with "carbon composite" last year. 
"We got the building work of two local passenger ships during the crisis period", said Özdemir Ataseven, Chairman of Özata Shipyard. "We cannot say that we did not receive any jobs in the crisis period. We went through the crisis more luckily thanks to the projects we signed in the beginning of this period.  During this period, we also continued construction of two chemical tankers, one of which is steel construction and the other is a turn-key project.  We also completed construction of four barges to be used in the Caspian Sea in this period.  These projects were sufficient for us in the first phase of the crisis, I mean for one or two years.  We also took some projects from abroad in the meantime.  For instance, we took a big contract from Ukraine.  We also got a passenger ship building work from Azerbaijan. Considering those, we can see that we obtained good jobs.  Of course, we also had quite big problems in that period.  Building a couple of ships would not solve the problem".
Expressing that the shipyard business will not make a progress solely by construction of tankers, dry cargo ships or containers, Ataseven emphasized that the Turkish shipyards must start concentrating on building specific ships and special projects.  Giving the "carbon composite technology" as an example, Ataseven said "The project of 15 carbon-hull catamaran sea buses to be built for Izmir Metropolitan Municipality has started, meaning a great step for our plan to carry out "featured ship" constructions which we aim as Özata Shipyard in near future. Our ships will be built as carbon composite.  13 of those ships will be used in intra-port voyages, and 2 in extra-port cruises." 
Özdemir Ataseven characterizes the carbon composite technology, which is mainly used in the aviation and space technology and in nuclear plants, as the technology of the future.  "The most important feature of this ship is that it is quite light. We are building passenger ships with the same features as the ships we currently work on of steel and aluminum materials, which are common materials; however, they weigh 450 tons. The weight of ships we build with carbon composite technology is 130 tons.  Naturally, a decrease in weight means a substantial decrease in fuel consumption. This creates a huge advantage for the business in the long run.  Ships built with carbon composite technology amortize themselves in a short period of time due to this great decrease in fuel consumption. It is easy to repair and maintain.  Most importantly, they are environmentally-friendly ships. This material is familiar with the sea water.  It does not absorb and melt the sea water like sheet.  Thus, it has a positive relation with the sea water and there is no limit of life.  As the name implies, they are called green ships". 
Ataseven stated that Norway is currently very strong in this technology in the sector. "Carbon composite passenger ship project and ferries have priority in Özata Shipyard" he said.  "We aim to develop vehicle and passenger transportation even more in the immediate future. The carbon composite technology provides the business with profit in terms of fuel consumption in passenger ships and passenger transportation.  It is also quite advantageous in terms of repair and maintenance.  There is a possibility to respond immediately.  This technology is a project I current put emphasis on and consider as the project of the future.  There are only a couple of companies around the world using this technology in shipbuilding.  These companies have become shipyard brands.  A giant Norwegian company negotiated with us before the İzmir tender.  Meetings were held.  On the day we were to participate in the tender, I decided not to enter the tender with them when they said ´Let´s do this work together, but it must have our name´. 
Ataseven also stated that the whole sector supports the passenger ship projects to be made with the carbon composite technology and that they try to make the project local on 70% level as Özata Shipyard.  
Ataseven, in his assessment of the statuses of shipyards in Turkey, said that the view is generally bad.  He continued as follows:  "The situation is nearly the same for the shipyards in Yalova. The only difference is the fact that the repair and maintenance works continue.  The status of the shipyards in Yalova making military ships is somewhat good.  Repair and maintenance works keep these shipyards alive. A little stronger shipyards are able to build and sell ships on their own.  Therefore, we can say that a couple of shipyards work with a bank support.”
Ataseven emphasized that supports are provided in construction of military ships while the shipyards are not provided with direct support in the EU accession period. “Nevertheless, the current number of shipyards building military ships is only five. We are not able to generalize it.  In my opinion, the Industry of Defense should determine the criteria it demands generally; every single shipyard complying with these conditions and proving that it can carry out production in required quality must have an opportunity to place a bid for such projects.  I believe that Mr. İsmet Yılmaz our Minister of National Defense, is conducting positive studies on this issue. We know that Mr. İsmet Yılmaz, realized big projects in maritime and succeeded in making legislations to make the way for Turkish Maritime business during his service as the undersecretary of Maritime, and when Justice and Development Party newly came to power. Therefore, we believe that he would also complete the regulations to provide all shipyards with equal opportunities". 
Özdemir Ataseven stated that the government provides all the support to the maritime institutions to meet their needs by organizing tenders,  and that these developments enliven the stagnant atmosphere of the maritime sector.  He added that the institutions´ using this support provided by the government to initiate the projects to bring heat to the shipbuilding sector, by planning their prospective needs, will increase the sector´s momentum turning into positive.