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    Gloom continues at Norwegian yards

    News // January 23, 2004
    Fairplay (www.fairplay.co.uk), the weekly international shipping magazine says what it called "weakness in the offshore service vessel and fishing industries" continues to plague the Norwegian shipbuilding industry, which experienced a third bad year ina row last year, with fresh orders won accounting for only about a fifth of its annual capacity.

    In a recent report, Fairplay said the combined value of orders for the country's70 yards last year was Nkr2.5 billion (US$374 million), while they could handle Nkr12 billion to 15 billion worth of business a year if capacity was fully utilised, said Jon Lund, head of shipbuilding section at Teknikbedriftenes Landsförening, the ceiling organisation for technology industries in the country.

    "The order flow has been very slow since the year 2000, when we experienced a peak reflecting the end of subsidies to shipbuilding," Lund told Fairplay.

    Given the current situation, it seems likely that some of the yards will go out of business, but Lund hopes that some of those without work at the moment could be reopened once the core markets for their products pick up. "The situationdiffers from one yard to another, but generally speaking we do experiencedifficult times," he acknowledged.

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