Founded on distinctive experience and market leading expertise, Yantai CIMC Raffles is one of the most respected names in the offshore and shipbuilding industry today. With a specialisation in offering total solutions to its customers, focusing on reliability, commitment to excellence, versatility and quality, the company’s 4000-strong workforce ensures an unrivalled platform of engineering excellence and state-of-the art solutions. As the ‘yard of choice’ in the highly competitive and international field of vessel construction, the organisation has developed an impressive portfolio of completed offshore projects including the successful design, construction, repair and conversion of jackup drilling rigs, semi submersible drilling rigs, FPSOs and pipelay vessels.
The shipyard was established in 1994 under the vision of Brian Chang, the current deputy chairman and CEO of Yantai CIMC Raffles, to create one of the leading offshore shipyards in the world. Having previously been associated with companies such as Mobil, Jardine Offshore and Far East Shipyard in Singapore and Malaysia, Brian brought with him a wealth of experience and provided the shipyard with a stable background from which it could grow. The 72-hectare shipyard located in Yantai, Shandon Province, China, includes state-of-theart building facilities, implementing some of the latest technologies to achieve operational efficiencies and lower running costs, while customers benefit from a commitment to excellence that saw the company celebrate its 15th anniversary last year. The company’s unique proximity to Korea and Japan, an area that accounts for 80 per cent of the global shipbuilding capacity, has also been a key advantage throughout its history.
Previously known as Yantai Raffles Shipyard, the business has undergone numerous changes in the past few years and with the recent arrival of China International Marine Containers Group Co Ltd (CIMC) as its largest shareholder, it has undergone a strategic name change. CIMC is actively involved in all levels and aspects of the company, bringing significant enterprise value to the areas of procurement, manufacturing processes, management, finance and product opportunities.
In 2008, the organisation was put on the map through the creation and testing of the world’s largest gantry crane known as the TAISUN crane, which lifted an astonishing 20,133 metric tonnes in front of an assembly of 600 guests. The crane received the Guinness World Record for heaviest ever lift by crane and went on to gain the Spotlight on Technology Award for its innovation and revolutionising the way offshore vessels are constructed. The facility has gone on to complete a number of successful commercial lifts, the first of which took place in November 2008 with the 14,000 metric tonne lift of the deckbox of the COSL Pioneer. In September 2009 the TAISUN celebrated the successful lifting and mating of the Schahin ‘SS Pantanal’ Semi Submersible, followed by the heaviest ever commercial lift of Saipem’s ‘Frigstad D90’ Semi Submersible Drill Rig weighing in at 17,000 metric tonnes.
Yantai CIMC Raffles divides is business into five key areas of expertise including offshore, new builds, repair and conversions, Raffles yachts, heavy lift craneage and the chartering department. At present the organisation is constructing some of the world’s most advanced semi submersibles for industry front-runners such as COSL, Schahin and Saipem, while its second fabrication yard in Haiyang, China is currently lending its specialisation to the construction of six jackup units. The shipyard is the only one in Asia to house the key technology, manufacturing capacity and capability to construct jackup legs completely in-house, giving it a major advantage over its nearest competition. Indeed, the company’s Friede & Goldman ‘Super M2’ and ‘Super M2 ESV’ designs are unrivalled in the industry for their superior construction and functionality.
The new build division has also delivered some of the most unique specialised vessels in the industry, having worked closely with clients to develop solutions ranging from accommodation barges, pipelay and heavy lift barges, a purpose build yacht carrier to the world’s first round FPSO.
Another core element of Yantai CIMC Raffles’ activities lies in the repair and conversion field of the industry, gaining much repeat business from long-term customer relationships and the successful deliverance of various complex projects. One of the company’s most notable accolades was the conversion of the Safe Bristolia from a semi submersible into an accommodation unit in 2001, while only last year it embarked on the repair of two bottom-seated platforms for Shengil Oil. With such a broad portfolio of proficiency and technology to its name, the organisation is able to undertake various projects at the same time and currently has seven vessels under construction including the Saipem Frigstad D90 Scarabe09, JBF 14000, ESV, Jack Up Super M2, Fall Pipe Vessel Stornes, Pipe Lay Vessel Caster One and Millennium SA Semi Submersible Drilling Rig.
To ensure the ongoing prominence of the company throughout the shipbuilding and international markets, the company is placing substantial investment in the creation of a Yantai CIMC Offshore R&D Institute. Wholly funded by CIMC and Yantai CIMC Raffles, the 150 million RMB investment and development will take place in two phases, with the first phase of construction aiming for completion in late 2011. With already 700 qualified engineers dedicated to project development, this capability will further the company’s innovation credentials. The institute is due to spearhead marine and offshore engineering research, experimentation, design and consultation, marine and offshore project management and brokerage, as well as exhibition services. This move is part of a strategic plan to enhance Yantai CIMC Raffles competitive edge in the offshore industry and it has hopes that the facility will attract and develop new talents in the market.
While remaining incessantly dedicated to the construction and delivery of cutting edge offshore solutions, Yantai CIMC Raffles is also committed to the development of its people, services and strategic partnerships for continued success over the coming years.
CIMC is now the largest shareholder
Seven vessels under construction
Currently constructing a Yantai CIMC Offshore R&D Institute