Besiktas Shipyard

Besiktas breaks into Scandinavian offshore market / 05.12.2012

The Turkish yard sees three years of effort crowned with two prestigious orders signed in one week.
The recent announcement that Faroe Islands-based shipowner PF Thor had ordered four seismic-support vessels on the back of long-term charters to Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) mentioned that they are to be built at Besiktas Shipyard in Turkey but did not expand. But for Besiktas the contract is the icing on the cake after three years of trying to break into the Scandinavian market for offshore and specialised vessels.
Neither the owner nor the yard have revealed the value of the contracts but deliveries will start from the third quarter of 2014.
Besiktas owner Yavuz Kalkavan has strongly urged on several occasions that Turkish yards chase after niche tonnage including offshore projects, coasters for Turkish owners, small gas carriers and other specialised ships such as sea-river-type vessels for the Volga and Caspian Sea trade.
Despite this, he admits he has not been fully convinced that his own yard could break into the Scandinavian market and praises his team for persisting.
In addition to the seismic-vessel contract, which is believed to carry four optional units, Besiktas also won a $30m contract to build a fishing trawler for the Norwegian Ytterstad group slated for delivery in the third quarter of 2014.
“We had been working on the Scandinavian market for three years and got nothing. Then suddenly everything came together. It really was an excellent week for us,” Kalkavan said. He reveals that Besiktas even had to turn down the opportunity to build two more trawlers because it felt it could not meet the delivery schedules with the existing and new orders it had reeled in.
In addition to the latest orders, the yard is completing the last three in a series of 10 7,100-dwt chemical/oil tankers for Palmali Shipping and a 9,000-cbm ethylene carrier for Galata Gas Shipping, a joint venture between Gas & Heat of Italy and the Besiktas group, due for delivery in June 2013.
In September, the yard also snagged a $120m contract to build three ice-class platform-supply vessels (PSVs) for Palmali. All three shallow-draught vessels will be delivered in 2014 and will work in the Caspian Sea’s Filanovsky field for Russian energy giant Lukoil.
When Besiktas Shipyard was established on a greenfield site in 2007, it was doing 80% shipbuilding and 20% repairs. Those ratios have changed now to 40% and 60%, repsectively, but Kalkavan is happy that the new orders will keep the shipbuilding side fully occupied.
The yard is also strongly marketing its repair activities and this year has invested another $25m, adding a third floating dock and a 100-ton-lifting-capacity floating crane that was bought from Romania.
While Kalkavan says Besiktas is up there with the leading Turkish yards as regards the number of ships coming into the yard for repair work, he admits that because of the current crisis, owners are trying to minimise the repairs they are doing.
“The ships come in but they [the owners] do less,” he said.
By Gillian Whittaker Istanbul