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Shipping and shipbuilding
 

 

According to figures released recently by Basque maritime industry association ADIMDE, the Basque shipping industry billed 1,400 million euros in 2007, 55% of which came from Europe, and employed 9,500 people directly and a further 18,000 indirectly.

Basically, the industry comprises some 400 businesses and seven shipyards, between merchant and fishing vessel owners, shipyards, engineering firms, machinery and engine manufacturers and the ancillary industry. In practice, 72% of the industry's firms are involved in shipbuilding, 25% in fishing and 3% provide port services.

Today 45 vessels figure in the Basque shipbuilding industry's order portfolio, roughly 31% of Spain's orders pending, assuring work for the next four years.

Basque shipyards have managed to penetrate the vessel segment with the greatest demand worldwide. 80% of their orders are for offshore vessels such as oil and gas tankers and oilrig support ships, plus dredgers and tugs.

One major shipyard is Construcciones Navales del Norte (CNN), better known as "La Naval", in Sestao. At present, CNN is working on what will eventually be the world's largest dredger, the Cristóbal Colón, (Christopher Columbus in the anglicized version) for Belgian shipowner Jan de Nul. Weighing in at 78,000 tons and measuring 223 metres long, it will be capable of sucking in and processing 46,000 cubic metres to a depth of 142 metres, and is destined for Dubai, where it will be put to work on the construction of the artificial islands planned for the Persian Gulf sea bed.

Construcciones Navales del Norte is now a world benchmark shipyard as regards the construction of dredger and LNG, leading-edge technology and high added value vessels, being one of the few anywhere in the world with the complex technology required for building such boats.

The Basque Country also has a number of other leading shipyards, including MuruetaBalenciaga and Zamakona. At present the shipyards' order portfolio is fuller than Naval's, with work guaranteed until 2011

A highly developed ancillary industry

As in all the major industries in the Basque region, shipbuilding in the region is supported locally by a powerful ancillary industry, in this particular case one of its most important assets, contributing as it does roughly 70% of a vessel's value.

Wärtsila NSD, part of the Finland-based Metra group, the world's biggest producer of vessel motors and engines, is one of the most important ancillary firms in the Basque shipbuilding sector. The firm's facilities are in Bermeo, in Vizcaya. Besides working for the shipbuilding industry, Wärtsila NSD develops cogeneration projects for a number of sectors, including the wood, fish canning, dairy and ceramics and pottery industries. So active has it been in this area that today it is in fact one of Spain's leading suppliers of fuel oil and gas-fired co-generation facilities.

Another leading firm, Guascor S.A., has spent the last 35-plus years designing, producing and developing diesel engines and gas motors. Today its products and technology are sold in a broad range of markets the world over.

Sener, is the big name in the engineering field, with upwards of 40 years' experience in designing a range of vessels and working on projects for more than a thousand vessels for shipowners from around the world. The firm developed the Foran computer aided design, engineering and production system, used under licence by more than 100 shipyards worldwide.

Mooring and anchoring system specialist Vicinay Cadenas S.A., is a world leader in the production of chains for oilrigs.

Ingelectric; electric propulsion systems, pump producers Bombas Itur and Bombas Azcue; the high-voltage, high-powered submergible electric motors for dredgers made by  Indar; and the insulating boxes that cover the holds of LNG transport vessels made by Ikasalde Box also deserve a mention.


RELATED LINKS
Basque maritime industry association (ADIMDE)
Business news

 

Source: Presidency of the Government - General Secretariat for Communication

Fecha de la última modificación: 25/08/2009