Partner for the future

Located in the Black Sea area, Santierul Naval Constanta SA (SNC) is ranked among the largest new building and ship repair yards in Europe, and is placed third in the world in shipbuilding for medium range products & chemical tankers.

Over the years since its inception the shipyard has evolved in both size and scale, and today it is able to fabricate up to 120,000 tonnes of steel per year whilst handling vessels up to 200,000 deadweight tonnes (DWT) in dry dock one and 150,000 DWT in dry dock two. It also has two floating docks at its disposal, used mainly for repairs and maintenance. Following a major investment programme, the shipyard is now at a technological level similar to that of the world’s most efficient yards.

Indeed, over 25 million dollars of investment have been allocated to SNC since 2003, for the extensive modernisation of the production facilities and its infrastructure. In excess of 15 million dollars have been spent in upgrading the existing shot-blasting and priming equipment (including a new preheating furnace and painting machine), acquisition of new screw air compressors for the yard’s compressed air network, cherry-pickers, a brand new blasting and painting work-shop, acquisition of equipment for piping workshop and welding, and many other facilities.

In addition, following privatisation ten years ago, SNC settled on a decision to engage not only in vessel construction but design as well. Using its own data and experience, and aided by consultants, the company created a competitive 40,000 DWT IMO 3 tanker with an 11-metre draft that has already achieved great success throughout Europe. Following this success, investments have been made into new software for the Design Department, as well as for the implementation of a reliable resource planning system.

These investments have been made with a solid aim behind them – Santierul Naval Constanta is fully aware that customer satisfaction is of paramount importance for its development and success on the international shipbuilding market. It has to provide products and services that meet or even exceed the clients’ expectations as regards to their quality, safety and performance during operation and environmental approach. To achieve these challenging ambitions, SNC invested in a solid infrastructure and the right technology, but maintained a flexible approach, and a willingness to adapt to market demands.

This philosophy has sustained the business through difficult economic conditions, as has its dedication to both the new build and repair sides of the business. During good times much of the shipyard’s work was concentrated on new building with only a small percentage of repairs. But more recently this has switched, with a lot more repair work and less new building. In general, SNC would favour new building projects because although they are exposed to a series of cost risk factors, they give more stable employment and are easier to plan and organise. On the other hand, in a more volatile market, repair work brings in cash quickly and gives a major boost to finances.

Cleverly balancing these two streams has helped SNC maintain a competitive business even through the recession, relying on many quick repair projects to counterbalance the lack of new build activity. It also had the foresight in 2008 to undertake a restructuring of the business in preparation for the shipbuilding crisis. With the new build market migrating towards China and Korea, however, the company began looking at new markets to sustain it into the future.

It therefore became involved with conversions, and has already undertaken a number of large projects. The largest one so far was converting an aframax tanker into a post-panamax bulk carrier. It required extensive modification and replacement work on the steel structure and on-board equipment and this was executed successfully. With offshore projects becoming increasingly common in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea areas, this is a sector for which the yard is now gearing up.

In 2011, SNC constructed three chemical tankers, as well as achieving other milestones, such as obtaining the GL certificate of construction progress for 4000 tons of steel erected in separate block sections for the ‘NB 586’. This ship is owned by Histria Ship Management and is scheduled for delivery in the second part of 2012. On the repair side, during the first six months of 2011, SNC performed repair works on 25 ships, which included more than 350 tonnes of replaced steel, over 1110,000m2 of sandblasting, 800,000m2 of painting works and 6300m of pipeline works.

With almost five million dwt delivered during its years of activity both to Romanian and first class European owners, new-buildings ranging both in size – from 1100 dwt chemical tankers to aframax/suezmax tankers or capesize bulk carriers – and complexity- from steel pontoons to LPG/ammonia carriers and platform supply vessels, Santierul Naval Constanta SA is backed by the experience, professionalism and teamwork of its employees. Add in the maritime history of the Black Sea area that dates back more than a century, and SNC appears to have found the right path to achieve its ambition of becoming the foremost independent shipyard in Europe.

One of largest yards in Europe
Built three chemical tankers in 2011
Launched new vessel in Feb 2012