While the Turkish shipbuilding industry has closed the gap on the world’s top shipbuilding nations over the past decade, a shaky global economy has weakened the entire industry in recent years.
Hamburg Messe spoke with Murat Kiran, the President of the Association of the Turkish Shipbuilding Industry, GISBIR (Türkiye Gemi İnşa Sanayicileri Birliği), about the upturn expected for 2014 and the important role of SMM Istanbul, which will be held in Istanbul on 26 and 27 February in Istanbul.
1. Turkey is among the top-ten shipbuilding nations. How important is Turkey’s maritime industry for the national economy?
Kiran: “The Turkish shipbuilding industry is strategically important for Turkey because of the contribution it makes to the national economy. In addition, as one of the country’s core industries it has a positive effect on deficit reduction efforts by bringing foreign currency into the country and driving employment. The Turkish shipbuilding industry has a broad perspective and bright prospects, considering the anticipated future need for commercial ships: The government wants to boost the national export and import volumes to 500 billion USD each by the year 2023.”
2. The financial crisis had a major negative impact on the Turkish shipbuilding industry. But now the sector is recovering. What are the goals of the industry?
Kiran: “To overcome the negative consequences of the global economic crisis, the Turkish shipbuilding industry is taking suitable measures to tackle the overcapacity problem. In particular, it has begun to build specialised types of vessels rather than the standard ship types in response to market demand and trends.”
3. Much like other shipbuilding nations, Turkey is lagging far behind China, South Korea and Japan in terms of output, especially so with larger ship types such as bulk carriers, tankers and containerships. What segments do you believe to be most promising for Turkey’s shipbuilding industry?
Kiran: “The Turkish shipbuilding industry experienced a severalfold increase in its shipbuilding and export capacity, including significant product diversification. Turkish shipyards can build oil tankers, chemical tankers, bulk carriers, containerships, heavy lifting ships, multipurpose vessels, platform supply vessels, war ships, coast guard boats, tugboats, mega yachts, yachts and fishing boats.”
“Based on the orderbook in dwt by builder country, Turkey ranks eleventh. In terms of number of units on order, Turkey ranks fifth internationally. Turkish shipyards are leading the world in the construction of smaller-tonnage chemical and oil tankers, with a current orderbook totalling just under 10,000 dwt. In the megayacht segment, Turkish yards produce an annual volume worth 300 million euros, taking third place globally.”
4. What kind of government support are you hoping for to help you achieve your objectives?
Kiran: “In the light of recent massive offshore vessel orders given to leading shipyards all around the world, and being in the position of an industry association, we have recommended that an offshore fleet be formed by the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) under the guidance of our Ministry of Energy. To this end an offshore corporation could be established similar to the collaboration of PETROBRAS and TRANSPETRO in Brazil. This would provide Turkish shipyards with a steady flow of orders for platform supply vessels, FPSOs, FSOs, jack-up vessels, rigs, etc. Accomplishing this and acquiring the necessary know-how will require a fruitful partnership with worldwide, reputable companies.”
5. How important are orders from Turkey’s navy and coast guard for the nation’s shipbuilding industry?
Kiran: “Naval and coast guard projects are another area of expertise of the Turkish shipbuilding industry. Naval ships, which had to be imported in the past, are now being built by Turkish shipyards. Some of them are even exported, and this will continue in the future. In addition, Turkey is one of very few countries capable of building their own naval vessels.There are presently five of GISBIR member shipyards which are awarded naval contracts.”
6. When SMM Istanbul will launch an all-new concept next year. How important is this industry gathering of buyers, suppliers and shipbuilders to you? Is there anything you are especially looking forward to?
Kiran: “We believe that SMM Istanbul, especially with one of its key subjects, “Sophisticated Ships”, can be a starting point for the Turkish shipbuilding industry by offering opportunities for fruitful co-operation in various fields.”
Press Release, December 5, 2013