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Sourcing right components and staff biggest challenges for Chinese yards: LR

Athens: The biggest tests for the rapidly growing Chinese builders lie in ensuring component quality and managerial training, Nick Brown, Lloyd's Register's Shanghai General Manager, said at a conference in Athens yesterday.
The sheer scale and speed of expansion of Chinese yards is hard to grasp. 2007 deliveries of 18.93m dwt were 30% up year-on-year, while new orders last year of 98.45m dwt were 32% up from 2006.
'But the expansion of Chinese shipyards has been so rapid that the supply networks essential for these yard's operations and their ability to deliver quality vessels, is now under heavy strain as the support industries have failed to develop at the same rate,' said Brown.
Classification societies face big pressures ensuring quality in China. 'The weight of orders in Chinese yards and the number of new yard facilities is draining the pool of trained staff and means that classification societies must be vigilant to maintain the levels of quality,' Brown said.
Class must help on four key areas - securing quality materials and components, recruit qualified staff, improve productivity via greater departmental co-operation.
In a bid to counter the first two problems Lloyd's Register has established a Technical Performance Group in China to increase awareness of quality requirements across the Chinese supply chain network as well as setting up a Maritime Training Institute. [17/04/08]



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