The perfect partner

Thanks to its successful designs and innovative concepts, Flensburger Schiffbau Gesellschaft (FSG) is the world’s leading builder of ro-ro ships, with a global market share of 30 per cent. Over the course of its history, the company has developed the best solutions and built the finest ships for some of the most renowned and respected shipping companies in the world.

Despite turmoil in the global economy, demand from clients for FSG’s superior service and technology has remained strong, and the company launched several new vessels in 2011, including the second of four ro-ro ferries for Seatruck in October. The four sister ships will be delivered by Flensburger to their owner between November 2011 and June 2012 and are intended mainly for service in the Irish Sea. The ships are 142 metres long and 25 metres wide, with each boasting a freighting capacity of 2166 lane metres on four decks and the ability to carry up to 151 trailers.

Furthermore, the third vessel of this order was launched in January 2012, and named ‘Seatruck Performance’. FSG managing director Peter Sierk noted that this name is particularly apt, as the ship represents ‘a super performance’ by Flensburger’s shipbuilders by launching her right on schedule.

Praising the team that has built her, Peter told a launching ceremony: “We have met every deadline to date and we have the high commitment and motivation of all our 700 employees to thank for that.” He added: “Performance here means, literally, success, achievement and the fulfilment of high expectations. It is that which successfully distinguishes us from other shipyards because we are not just a building facility but also one that sets great store by research and development. Only by doing this can we remain in a position to fulfil our customers’ individual requirements and develop the best solutions for their business needs.”

One of the major standout features of ‘Seatruck Performance’ is the value placed on eco-friendliness and on low fuel consumption by FSG engineers. Compared to conventional ships, FSG designs consume up to 30 per cent less fuel, which not only saves costs but also represents an enormous contribution to environmental protection.

These parameters also apply to the three sister ships for Seatruck Ferries Ltd, one of which has already been delivered to the customer by the FSG. The remaining three, among them ‘Seatruck Performance’ will follow up to June this year.

It is clear from the development of the Seatruck vessels that FSG invests its resources in building excellent relationships with customers and ensuring that its solutions are designed to address challenges. This expertise is not only applied to the ro-ro market, as in addition to the specialist production of freight ferries, the company also builds top of the range ro-pax ships, Naval vessels and develops offshore technology.

This last area is something that FSG has been paying attention to for some time. Based as it is in Schleswig-Holstein, activity in the offshore wind energy sector is a natural focus of yard interest, with most attention in the current phase of development centring on the establishment of wind parks and on linking them to the electricity grids. However, maintenance, repair, repowering and dismantling are also in the frame. These operational sectors, each with their own particular tasks to perform, place differing demands on the ship as a tool.

The yard’s strategy here is to beneficially deploy in the offshore sector the same simulation technology that it has used to date for its current portfolio. Offshore work can thus be analysed against a background of realistic weather conditions with logistic chain factors also brought into the equation. With the help of the yard’s own design methods, for example, precise predictions of ship behaviour at sea can also be made. As a result, customers and the yard, working together during product development, gain valuable insights into the general demands likely to be placed on vessels and on how technical systems can best be arranged.

Looking at the state-of-the-art technology that is being produced by FSG, it is hard to imagine the yard as it started out in 1872. Over the 14 decades it has been in existence, the company has delivered nearly 750 ships, and seen huge changes and advances in both the industry and its own circumstances. In 2008 new owners bought the yard, when its current (and future) managing director Peter Sierk, along with investors from the Orlando Management AG in Munich, acquired the yard from the Oldendorff Group in Lübeck as part of a management buy-out.

The new owners took over the facility in its existing form without changing its business spectrum, making it clear that it will continue to be managed as an independent shipyard with specific expertise in the research and development sector.

Peter Sierk said at the time of the buy-out: “The yard is well booked with orders until into the year 2013. That is the biggest order volume in the history of FSG and it is, primarily, our excellent employees who have made it possible. They are the backbone of our success – and that will not change.” And nothing has changed. Today the yard remains, more than ever before in its almost 140 year history, dedicated to serving its customers.

Innovative for 140 years
Customer centric approach
Focuses on high-quality products