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Target niche shipbuilding sectors, says LR Asia Director

Target niche shipbuilding sectors, says LR Asia Director

Mumbai: John Stansfeld, Director of Lloyds Register Asia believes that Indian shipyards must focus on catering to niche sectors in order to compete with established shipbuilding nations. Speaking at last week's India Shipping Summit, organised by Seatrade and Tradewinds, he said, "World trade is expected to double by 2020... and annual shipbuilding capacity is forecast to peak at 50mCGT in 2010, before levelling off in the 40-45mCGT in the next five years."

"Japan, Korean and China will continue to dominate shipbuilding and offer 80% of available capacity by 2015," Stansfeld warns, clarifying that he believes there will be room for smaller players such as Taiwan, Philippines, India, Vietnam and Brazil and start-ups in niche markets. The combination of scarce slots in the Big Three's yards and the fact that the majority of India's current fleet, particularly Supramax, Handy-Max and Handy-Size vessels, is reaching vessel retirement age is likely to work in Indian shipbuilder's favour.

Pointing out that the country's present order book is dominated by offshore supply boats and bulk carriers, Stansfeld highlights a need for the country's yard to participate in tanker and container ship production - "particularly 1,000 to 2,000teu feeder ships required to ferry cargo to the primary ports." He also urges yards to use the predicted contracting lull from next year to develop new infrastructure and technologies particularly in terms of unique ship design tailored to local construction methods.  [09/11/07]