Yangzijiang: The Business Times reported that Yangzijiang is aiming for higher-value orders for specialised vessels in niche markets to tide over downturn, and already the shipbuilder has benefited from a steady stream of commercial shipbuilding orders backed by new international regulations coming into force from 2016.
The group announced in Nov that it had secured 12 vessel orders totalling US$730m for containerships ranging from 1,900 to 11,800 TEU and 84,000 cubic meter very large gas carriers for deliveries from 2017 – 2018.
Yangzijiang’s chairman Ren Yuanlin guided that the shipbuilder is seeking to build momentum in the gas segment, as competition for newbuild gas transportation vessels are typically restricted among selected yards with the required shipbuilding capabilities.
Yet despite the group’s attempt to diversify its operations, Ren acknowledged that operating conditions remained tough, and the current weakness is expected to persit for three years or more.
Already, the number of shipyards in China has shrunk from 3,000 to 300 and may fall below 50 in another three years. On a more positive note, Yangzjiang has since doubled its market share as it navigates itself through a multi-year consolidation.
Amidst the challenging outlook, only quality yards with strong execution and balance sheet are likely to emerge as industry winners versus peers.