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March 12, 2008

Vietnam enters top 5 ship builders’ list

Vietnam has been listed as one of the top five shipbuilders in the world by Fairplay magazine, reported Vietna News Agency.

Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group (Vinashin) President Pham Thanh Binh said the country’s shipbuilding sector is on track to becoming the fourth largest in the world by 2015.

He said the industry has never had such bright prospects and cites the delivery of two 53,000-tonne ships to the United Kingdom in June last year as Vietnam's passport to the world market.

Vinashin now has almost 200 shipyards nationwide and the capacity to build oil tankers greater than 300,000 tonnes.

It has received orders to build ships worth about $6 billion, including $4 billion from countries with advanced shipbuilding technology such as the UK, Japan, the Netherlands and Germany.

This year, Vinashin's subsidiary Pha Rung Shipbuilding Company began construction of a 13,000 DWT oil tanker for a Greek partner. Nam Trieu Shipbuilding Company also won a $280 million contract to build four car carrying ships, one of which is now under construction.

However, Vinashin General Director Nguyen Quoc Anh says that while the company has now made its initial 2015 target to be the fifth biggest shipbuilder in the world, there are still some issues that need to be addressed.

Currently, only about 30 percent of the materials and services required to build ships comes from Vietnam. The industry has to import most of the materials and engines and uses international consultants and supervisers on building projects.

In a quest to have 60 percent locally-made materials supplying the industry by 2010, and 75 percent by 2015, Vinashin has set up large shipyards in three regions of the country.

It has invested heavily in the subsidiary industry and now owns 18 industrial parks and diesel hydraulic engine and steel plants. Vinashin has also invested in developing the industry's labour force and said this is an important element in its strategy to develop the sector.

The group annually sends technicians to Poland, Japan and Denmark for training.

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