A perfect match

For 13 years, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering has been providing shipbuilding and repair services in collaboration with Mangalia shipyard. Established in Romania in 1976, Mangalia rapidly became the European supplier of Daewoo’s shipbuilding services and a successful wing of the organisation’s global shipbuilding expertise after the union. The Romanian shipyard has benefitted from Daewoo’s extensive network of clients and the Koreans have applied their knowledge of management skills to make the Romanian yard run more efficiently.

Shipping & Marine spoke to Mr. Soon-Gil Hong, vice president and chief operating officer of DMHI, to find out more about the successful alliance. “DMHI has become one of the most competitive shipyards in the Black Sea area,” he reveals. “It was formed as a joint venture in 1997 between wellknown shipbuilding leader Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering in Korea and ‘2 Mai’ Mangalia Shipyard in Romania, which was built in 1974.

“Since its inception, it has had unique potential in the fields of shipbuilding, conversion & repair, due to its favourable geographical location, excellent facilities, advanced Daewoo technology, large investment programme and highly qualified Romanian and Korean experts. The valuable image of DMHI was realised through continuous improving in productivity as well as quality standards. In a relatively short period, we managed to obtain the Certificate of Approval for the quality standard ISO 9001:2000.”

He continues, shedding light on the company’s activities: “In June 2002, DMHI delivered its first turnkey project, the 40,000 TLC Floating Dock, to an US client. From 2004, DMHI shifted its newbuilding strategy to building only complete, large, commercial vessels (panamax/post-panamax containerships, panamax/aframax/suezmax crude oil tankers and capesize bulkcarriers).”

More recently, 2009 marked an important milestone when DMHI delivered the biggest vessels ever built in the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea areas: a 5905 TEU containership for Hamburg Süd in Germany, delivered on 3rdJune, and a 180,000 TDW capesize bulkcarrier for Tsakos in Greece, delivered on 12th August.

Mr. Soon-Gil Hong comments: “Our main customers are Greek and German owners like NSB, Hamburg Süd, Tsakos Shipping & Trading, Anangel, C.P. Offen and Triton Shipbuilding. We’re particularly proud of building the 180,000 DWT capesize bulk called STELLA for Tsakos Shipping & Trading, and of delivering a series of six containerships of 5560 TEU and 5905 TEU for Hamburg Süd. Respectively, these are the biggest bulk carrier and the biggest containerships ever built in Romania and Black Sea.”

Continuing, he elaborates on other recent projects: “This year we have already delivered two containerships of 4860 TEU for NSB and an 180,000 DWT bulkcarrier for C. P. Offen. In addition, we are building two bulkcarriers of 180,000 DWT for Anangel and one for Tsakos, as well as two anchor handling tugboats of 100 tonnes bollard pull for Triton.”

Integral to DMHI’s continued success is its location, which is in a part of Romania that is en route from the Black Sea, 45 km south of Constanta- Agigea Harbour, two km south of Mangalia Harbour and 400 km from Bosfor Pass. The shipyard opens into the Mediterranean Sea and is blessed with a mild climate that provides the best conditions for building activities, which helps to attract customers.

Considering what other strengths the company possesses, Mr. Soon-Gil Hong says: “During the last 11 years, our highly skilled manpower and state-of-the art technology have enabled us to build over 130 new vessels and carry out a large range of repair works for around 300 vessels. These are the two most important strengths that have made Daewoo-Mangalia Heavy Industries a shipyard to rely on.

“We boast a combination of modern shipbuilding technology from Korea and Romania’s traditional experience in naval construction. We value the experience of our committed workforce and the importance of developing their capabilities. Furthermore, all shipyard functions, in our efforts to maintain a competitive position among the world’s shipyards, are fully supported by our major shareholder, DSME.”

Such qualities have safeguarded DMHI from the impact of the recession, though there has been no escaping the instability of the market. Mr. Soon-Gil Hong explains how the business reacted: “In response to the current fluctuations inworld shipbuilding market trends, we set out to enter diverse markets that complement commercial vessels, including producing steel structures for wind energy and bridges, offshore support vessels, chemical and product tankers, naval vessels, and providing design and consulting services.”

With thoughts turning to the future of DMHI, Mr. Soon-Gil Hong shares the company’s exciting new plans: “For 2010, we have planned to maximize our output by starting newbuilding activities in Dry Dock No.3, which was converted from a repair dock into a newbuilding dock to form the largest in southeast Europe. It has a maximum deadweight capacity slightly below VLCC-class vessels. Our target for this year is eight vessels and in a couple of years we plan to reach a capacity of 12 vessels.”

Built biggest vessels in Black & Mediterranean Seas

Staff & technology are key

Diversifying into new market areas