“The main vessels delivered from the Bohai shipyard, part of the CSIC Shipbuilding group, are bulk carriers of our own design,” says Li Tian Bao, Chairman of the Board and General Manager of the Bohai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry Co, Ltd. (BSHIC).
We are impressed by how the yard has expanded to be able to handle the new orders. The new indoor workshop for block fabrication is one kilometre long with three parallel production lines, so simple maths adds up to 3,000 metres of new workshop covering some 120,000 m2. We then travel to the brand new, almost finished dry dock which has the following dimensions: 488 metres long by 107.5 metres wide. When we visited, the yard was just getting ready for the first ever flooding of the dry dock. The first of the two enormous gantry cranes (capacity 600 tonnes each) was already in place and the second was to follow soon. The mooring quay is about 1,100 metres long. The yard has invested some RMB 2.5 billion in the new facility, which is totally independent of the existing yard.
Yan Ma is the DNV senior surveyor and site manager. He pulls out a copy of the DNV newbuilding project schedule for Bohai, which includes the four VLOCs and two VLCCs (320,000 dwt) for BW Shipping, four VLCCs for Nanjing Oil (297,000 dwt, dual class with CCS) and two Suezmax ships for First Olsen (163,000 dwt). DNV also classed Bohai’s first export order, a series of 30,000 dwt MPPs for a German owner starting in 1995. “Today we are two DNV surveyors at Bohai, but with the expansion of our activities here over the next year this number will increase to ten. We have worked closely with the yard on the design of bulk carriers since 1996 and we have also been actively engaged in the design of the new VLOCs for BW Shipping,” says Ma. This is also underlined by Li: “The cooperation with DNV on ship design is very important to us and we value this support.
“Ship design, workmanship and good production systems are the key factors for our success,” says Li. “We have our own design office and our total order book contains 58 vessels, which shows that our customers value the way we work. The design office has some 400 staff and, together with shipyards at Dalian and Hudong, we qualify as a national centre for naval architecture.” When asked about the challenges involved in recruiting staff for the yard, Mr Li points out that even though there is a great demand for highly qualified naval architects and engineers, the yard offers good conditions and many interesting engineering challenges for the employees that they cannot get elsewhere – such as being a part of designing and building the largest vessels in the world. The yard also cooperates with the University in Harbin. “We have 15 designs already completed and another seven are being prepared.
“The bulk carrier market is very good right now and will probably remain so for the years to come. The demand for iron ore transport for global steel production exceeds the available tonnage capacity and the new BW Shipping VLOCs will most certainly be trading from Brazil to China after delivery from 2010 to 2011. Our bulk carriers come in series of 330,000 dwt; 363,000 dwt and 388,000 dwt in size – all designed by our own engineers. We also have an R&D design institute connected to our design office. The design also includes discharge friendly tanks with as few obstructions as possible.
“Bohai received a green award from the government in 2002 and we have strict waste treatment requirements. We favour the production of double hull bulk carriers in line with our priority of building environmentally friendly vessels.
“The yard also builds tankers up to VLCC size, containerships and small-size LPG carriers. Containership with newest generation and medium-sized LPG carriers of 35,000 m3 are also under design development and ready for taking orders. We are also considering the offshore market and this is a current task for our designers and engineers,” says Li Tian Bao.
The Bohai shipyard is located in the city of Huludao some 450 kilometres north-east of Beijing. The region, Liaoning Province, is the home of China’s space hero Yang Liwei. There are expansive plans for the five cities of Huludao, Jinzhou, Yingkou, Dalian and Dandong, all located along the coastline of Bohai Bay and the Yellow Sea. Huludao has a population of 2.75 million and an industrial base of petrochemicals, non-ferrous metal production and machinery manufacture in addition to shipbuilding.
Dato: 30. januar 2008