(hellenicshippingnews.com) Det Norske Veritas, one of the world’s leading shipping industry classification societies, says the time is ripe for Chinese shipyards to invest in European counterparts, as a way to raise their design capability, but also meet the challenges being posed by tougher environmental regulations. Despite a few big shipyards with a strong design capability, “Chinese yards in general lag behind the industry leaders such as South Korea and some European countries in customer service and diversification”, Remi Eriksen, chief executive officer of DNV Maritime and Oil & Gas, said in an interview.
Shipping classification societies such as Norway’s DNV are non-governmental organizations that establish and maintain technical standards for the construction and operation of ships and offshore structures. Other leading names include Britain’s Lloyd’s Register and Germany’s Germanischer Lloyd. Industry analysts and observers said many European shipping operators are struggling financially at the moment, which has reduced their market values, making them vulnerable to takeover, and open to investment approaches. Eriksen added that Chinese yards should consider buying or teaming up with European yards to strengthen their competitiveness.
Some Chinese companies have already started making moves. Aviation Industry Corp of China, one of the largest State-owned aerospace companies, for instance, recently acquired Deltamarin Ltd, a Finland-based ship design company. AVIC has expanded steadily into shipbuilding in recent years, and currently controls several shipyards in China, including one in East China’s Shandong province and another in Jiangsu province.
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