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Global recession dries up demand

Global recession dries up demand
Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd.?s shipbuilding venture in China will delay construction of a second dock in Dalian by three years as the global recession dries up demand.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd."s shipbuilding venture in China will delay construction of a second dock in Dalian by three years as the global recession dries up demand.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd."s shipbuilding venture in China will delay construction of a second dock in Dalian by three years as the global recession dries up demand.

The plan will be postponed until 2015 instead of early 2012, said Tomokazu Taniguchi, president of Kobe, Japan-based Kawasaki"s shipbuilding unit. Taniguchi declined to provide details of the funding, which will be shared between the Kawasaki group and partner China Ocean Shipping Group Co., or Cosco. Kawasaki will also offer technical assistance, he said.

The financial crisis ended a five-year shipping boom in the fourth quarter of 2008, prompting Asian yards to scale back spending. Taniguchi, 62, forecast ship orders would fall by more than half this fiscal year, instead of an April target for a 54 percent increase to 110 billion yen ($1.1 billion).

?Under such circumstances, construction of the second should be postponed,? Taniguchi said in an interview in Tokyo yesterday. ?We haven"t got a single order? for new ships since the fourth quarter.

Kawasaki Heavy shares fell 2.6 percent to 262 yen as of 2:25 p.m. on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, after dropping as much as 5.2 percent.

Orders from Japanese shipyards, the world"s second-largest by output, tumbled 90 percent in May, and have fallen 81 percent since the beginning of this year, according to the Japan Ship Exporters" Association. Global orders for 807 new ships were canceled in the October to May period, Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., Japan"s third-largest shipbuilder by sales, said June 4 in a presentation.

New Yard

Construction of the first dock at the new yard in Dalian, northeastern China, will be completed at the end of this year as scheduled, because order backlogs will provide work until 2013, Taniguchi said. The shipyard will have the capacity to produce 10 very large crude carriers, or VLCCs, a year after the second dock is completed in 2015, Taniguchi said.

Kawasaki"s 50-50 venture with Cosco, called Nantong Cosco KHI Ship Engineering Co., or Nacks, was created in 1995. The capacity of Nacks" docks in Nantong, eastern China, has already surpassed Kawasaki"s main yard in Sakaide city, southwestern Japan, Taniguchi said. The existing Chinese yard can also build 10 VLCCs annually.

Cosco is the world"s second-largest sea-freight company.

The Nantong yard builds large-size dry bulk carriers, container ships and car carriers, and half of the vessels built at the yard are designed for Cosco, Taniguchi said.

The new production site in Dalian will build VLCCs and iron ore carriers. Kawasaki will continue to focus on liquefied natural gas tankers at its Japanese docks, he said.

Kawasaki Heavy"s sales from shipbuilding, the origin of its businesses, accounted for 9 percent of its total revenue for the year ended March 31. The Kobe, Japan-based company also makes motorcycles, airplanes, trains and industrial plants.

www.TurkishMaritime.com.tr

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