Greek shipowners’ spending in new vessels and retrofits of existing fleet have attracted the global maritime community to Athens once again with the leading ship building nations lining up to showcase their goods at the Posidonia exhibition.
At the show, the Japan Ship Exporters’ Association (JSEA) organized a seminar providing information on Eco Ships & High technologies developed by the Japanese shipbuilding and ship machinery companies.
Theodore Vokos, Executive Director of Posidonia Exhibitions, said: “In 2013, Japan received only 14.8% in newbuilding orders from the global order book, falling into third place behind South Korea and China who commanded 33.1% and 40.8% respectively. Putting this against a global perspective, the whole of Europe received just 4.1% in global shipbuilding orders last year”.
Mr. Shinichiro Otsubo, Director of Shipbuilding and Ship Machinery Division, Maritime Bureau of Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport & Tourism (MLIT) said: “The yen has been weakening against the dollar since the end of 2013 but now is a good opportunity to buy Japanese high quality eco-ships and energy saving products”.
He went on to promote Japan’s attractive finance packages (JBIC) that provide the lowest interest rate to shipowners from around the world sending also a message to Greek fleet owners: “Since 2011, our attractive financing packages are also available for marine vessels registered in developed countries, including Greece under the scheme of export loans provided by JBIC”.
Otsubo added that the utilization of Japanese eco ships and energy saving products can bring significant benefits to ship owners against a backdrop of tightening environmental regulations and rising fuel prices.
Eco friendly and energy efficient vessels are also the focus of the Koreans following its government’s decision last year to revise its national Marine Environment Management Act and the Rules of Prevention of Pollution from Ships that must be applied in the construction of eco-friendly ships.
At Posidonia 2014, the Korean Offshore & Shipbuilding Association (KOSHIPA) is fielding its six giant members who are promoting mainly their next generation high-efficient, high-eco-friendly ship engines, claimed to be the world’s first.
“We are very satisfied with the response our members have received so far at this year’s Posidonia Exhibition as we have seen a lot of potential interest express from Greek and foreign shipowners during discussions with representatives of South Korean ship yards”, said Sung-Hun Kim, General Affairs & Public Relations Team Assistant Manager.
With China the runaway tiger in Asia’s shipbuilding race, Japan and South Korea are trying to compete on the basis of innovation in the eco arena which has taken centre stage due to strengthening environmental regulations and a global industry drive to reduce energy costs.
Vokos added: “More than 330 shipbuilding and ship repair companies are present at this year’s Posidonia with Asian participation occupying roughly half the total floor space dedicated in the sector and this means a lot in terms of the interest coming from the Far East”.
June 5, 2014