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Chinese Yards Seek Growth with Special Purpose Ships

With the traditional shipping market still in the slow recovering process and the offshore market struggling, some Chinese shipyards are looking to find new growth areas in special purpose vessels, according to representatives from a number of Chinese yards.

An official from Jiaolong Heavy Industries said that the yard is looking to expand into the wind turbine installation vessel market, the yard has developed a new design and in negotiations with some potential clients. "I think it is a promising market but the government should offer more guidance to support the yards," added the official.

Li Jiamin, a representative from Guangzhou-based Yuexin Ocean Engineering, a shipyard mainly building offshore vessels, said that the yard's offshore business has been good so far, however, the yard has noticed the potential price drop in the sector, and is looking to expand its portfolio into special purpose vessels including dredgers.

AVIC International Offshore, the offshore division of state-run AVIC International, is also considering developing more ship types. According to Xu Chunrou, a senior manager at the company, the yard is currently doing research.

"Currently it is hard to say which ship type is good for profiting, the important thing is to keep the shipyard running," the official from Jiaolong Heavy Industries said.

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