Swan Hunter shipyard for sale.? - Ships Nostalgia
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Swan Hunter shipyard for sale.?

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  #1  
Old 9th May 2006, 10:44
rushie rushie is offline  
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Swan Hunter shipyard for sale.?

From today's Lloyds List -

THE owner of one of the world痴 most famous shipyards has admitted he is willing to sell the business.

Jaap Kroese claims he is so tired of fighting to save Swan Hunter he would sell the UK yard if he received the right offer.

The comments follow a turbulent year for the multi-millionaire Dutchman who rescued the company from the receivers 11 years ago.

In the last 12 months, Mr Kroese has seen the workforce at the Wallsend yard on Tyneside dwindle from 1,500 to 250.

He has also had to face criticism after it was revealed work on two ships for the Ministry of Defence was running massively over budget and a year behind schedule.

With no other orders in the pipeline, Mr Kroese faces having to lay off the remaining workforce.

Speaking from his home in the Netherlands, the 67-year-old said: 的t is not formally up for sale but, put it this way, if someone comes along with the right offer, I would sell it. We are still looking for other contracts. I知 doing everything I can to find some work.

釘ut I知 getting too old to run around looking for work. I知 getting tired of it and there is nobody in the management team who wants to take it over.

典here has been a lot of talk of buying the yard from people in Europe. They know we are running out of work and they are looking at us with interest.

的 have had many inquiries but I would rather sell to someone who lived locally in the North East. I want to sell the yard to someone who is serious about making it work as a shipyard. I want to know the workforce will be secure.

But he is keen to avoid the fate common to much of the UK痴 post-industrial landscape: redevelopment as luxury property.

Mr Kroese has become a popular figure on Tyneside since he saved Swan Hunter in 1995.

Within a year of purchase it had won an order to convert the massive pipe-laying vessel Solitaire. Similar orders followed.

There were even greater celebrations in 2000 when it won the order to build the Largs Bay and Lyme Bay.

But earlier this year, the House of Commons Defence Committee revealed the company had been paid 」309m ($574m) for the work double the original price.

The Largs Bay has been completed and the Lyme Bay is close to being finished.

The yard had also been counting on a major share of a 」4bn order for two aircraft carriers.

But now Mr Kroese fears he may get little if any of the work and, even if he does, it will not be for another three years.

Last month, the company was forced to sell its yard at Port Clarence on the Tees to Wilton Marine Services.

典hings are very tough at the moment, said Mr Kroese. 典en years ago, there were 17,000 people working in the yards on the Tyne. Now there are fewer than 700.

釘ut I still think it would be a good buy. We have invested 」26m over the last three or four years.

Bill Coates, senior organiser with the General, Municipal and Boilermakers Union, said it was imperative the yard continued to run as a shipbuilding and offshore facility: 的f he can make assurances that it will fall into the right hands that has to be a good thing for the region.
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  #2  
Old 9th May 2006, 12:58
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Why double the price being paid, bad estimating, labour costs too high, slow workmanship, material shortages. Perhaps it would have been more economical to have the ships built abroad on time and in budget.
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  #3  
Old 9th May 2006, 13:13
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Fairfield Fairfield is offline
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An all too familiar story and a possible sad end to another great British shipbuilding concern.
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  #4  
Old 9th May 2006, 15:12
Wild Rover Wild Rover is offline  
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They were built abroad, the yard is Dutch owned and a lot of the workers are sub contractors from Greece and Poland! from what the papers say.
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  #5  
Old 9th May 2006, 15:40
rushie rushie is offline  
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I'll probably get some stick for saying it...but constructive debate is what the forum is for...so here goes....

I know that it's cheaper, quicker and more cost-effective for ships to be built abroad, and no, in this day and age the UK cannot compete with foreign prices. I just wonder if part of the reason for the demise of the once proud British shipbuilding industry is down to the aggravated industrial relations and lightning strikes that have also obliterated the UK car and coal industries.

Over to you my Commie brethren...!!

Rushie.
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  #6  
Old 9th May 2006, 16:05
Wild Rover Wild Rover is offline  
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rushie, you will not be allowed to discuss this for long on this thread, but if you want to call the British working man a Commie open a thread under that title in Mess Deck.
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  #7  
Old 9th May 2006, 16:32
Joe Rooney Joe Rooney is offline  
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The economic issues speak for themselves. But if Swan Hunter goes the route of the other great yards, then what does the RN do when faced with urgent needs for warships. Go to the EU and beg for a little continental yard space? The French would love that!

Joe
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  #8  
Old 9th May 2006, 18:37
rushie rushie is offline  
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Hmmm...thought it might get a response.

Whatever the cause, or the outcome it's a great shame...especially when a company like BP are having such a massive building programme.

Rushie

PS]...i work...and I'm not a Commie..
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  #9  
Old 9th May 2006, 18:53
Wild Rover Wild Rover is offline  
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rushie, I refer you to post #6 on this thread.
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  #10  
Old 9th May 2006, 19:33
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wa002f0328 wa002f0328 is offline  
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Having sailed on the ships from Smiths Docks on the Tyne, and worked in both Swan Hunters & Smiths Docks after sea time ( 60,s) Rushie is right in many ways, everyone has to do a day,s work to get a day,s pay, or the firm go,s bust, it has alway,s been that way, and now in the 21st century, we have a bunch of l------ in charge of the country, it is absolute mayhem, a lot more company,s will go to the wall, think about it!!!
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  #11  
Old 9th May 2006, 19:46
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Pat McCardle Pat McCardle is offline  
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I wonder if there is a Polish outfit ready to buy the place........There's plenty of Poles working at Swan's, mainly welders I heard.
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  #12  
Old 9th May 2006, 20:39
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wa002f0328 wa002f0328 is offline  
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are they proper welders or diluties? or ?
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  #13  
Old 9th May 2006, 20:56
Onozo Onozo is offline  
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Shipbuilding on the Tyne is doomed, ask the faceless leaders of industry, politicians and civil servents why this should be?
Have a look at Swans Hunter's present UK competion (Three major players), and see who the powers at be actually comprise, and their interests within what remains of the British Shipbuilding indusrty!
Swan Hunter, painfully went through a similar scenario over 11-years ago, before the present owner Mr.Jaap Kroese came on the scene.
The verbal rumblings made earlier by certain Southern M.P's regarding "Largs Bay" costings, failed to mention the fact, that the lead ship in any new class of vessels is always disproportionally higher than that of following vessels.
Now the big question is, will the two projected super aircraft carriers ever come off the designers drawing board - will the politicians of the day ever sanction the final cost committment. Cost estimates for such large projects always escalate and bear no resemblence to the initial costings.
It will be sad to see the eventual demise of Swan Hunter, as it has been to see other quality shipbuilders on the Clyde, Tyne and Wear.

Onozo.
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  #14  
Old 9th May 2006, 21:17
Onozo Onozo is offline  
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Swan Hunter shipyard for sale?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onozo
Shipbuilding on the Tyne is doomed, ask the faceless leaders of industry, politicians and civil servents why this should be?
Have a look at Swans Hunter's present UK competion (Three major players), and see who the powers at be actually comprise, and their interests within what remains of the British Shipbuilding indusrty!
Swan Hunter, painfully went through a similar scenario over 11-years ago, before the present owner Mr.Jaap Kroese came on the scene.
The verbal rumblings made earlier by certain Southern M.P's regarding "Largs Bay" costings, failed to mention the fact, that the lead ship in any new class of vessels is always disproportionally higher than that of following vessels.
Now the big question is, will the two projected super aircraft carriers ever come off the designers drawing board - will the politicians of the day ever sanction the final cost committment. Cost estimates for such large projects always escalate and bear no resemblence to the initial costings.
It will be sad to see the eventual demise of Swan Hunter, as it has been to see other quality shipbuilders on the Clyde, Tyne and Wear.

Onozo.
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  #15  
Old 10th May 2006, 23:14
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william dillon william dillon is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Rooney
The economic issues speak for themselves. But if Swan Hunter goes the route of the other great yards, then what does the RN do when faced with urgent needs for warships. Go to the EU and beg for a little continental yard space? The French would love that!

Joe
No, Joe, they build them on the Clyde as they are doing at the moment....we don't need the French to build our warships or at least I hope not.!!!!!!!
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  #16  
Old 11th May 2006, 01:19
dom dom is offline  
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dom

i'ts sad to read about the closing of all the great shipyards in the uk and then read about all the ship building going on everywhere else.vietnam building 10 car carryers for israel ,korea building 50 gas tankers for qatar,the french must of had a laugh when they got the order for the new cunard.
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  #17  
Old 11th May 2006, 15:06
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vchiu vchiu is offline  
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The French Yard that built the QM2 has maybe the same percentage of Polish and Indian subcontractors than British yards, so we can say there is still a taste of commonwealth workforce put inside this ship.

now the yard is owned by Kvaerner. Not too French either.

I don't understand why H&W or John Brown did not step in. Labour is expensive in France, maybe more than in UK. why didn't this order fall to a British yard?

What's the problem with building RN ships in French yards or FN ships in British yards? If Europe don't get over those ridiculous village quarrels, how can Europeans compete with China?
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  #18  
Old 11th May 2006, 16:40
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Expertise

The construction of a cruise ship is an immensely complex project. Today there are only four shipbuilders in the world with this capability. They are: -

Aker Finyards (Finland)
Chantiers de l'Atlantique (France)
Fincantieri (Italy)
Meyer Werft (Germany) - Cannot build the very largest ships.

There are currently 29 cruise ships on order at a value of about $8.7 billion. All are placed with these four yards. From time to time, other yards try to compete with the four (most recently, Mitsubishi) but all have abandoned their ambitions after taking heavy losses.

Harland & Wolff did bid for QM2 in partnership with a German repair yard (Lloyd Werft?) but were too expensive. In that arrangement, H&W would have built the hull and the Germans would have fitted her out. With all due respect, that is not an ideal way to build a $780 million ship. I am sorry, but for that sort of project, the owners need to be convinced of the yards ability. That ability has long gone from UK.

The last Harland & Wolff large passenger ship was Canberra. About one third of the size of QM2 and delivered in 1961 at a huge loss to the yard. Even the apprentices who worked on Canberra would have retired by now!
John Brown's went out of business 20 years ago. The Labour Government nationalised shipbuilding in Britain in 1977 and fatally decided to abandon passenger ships and to concentrate on the construction of the most basic types of ship, in a very short sighted attempt to preserve as many jobs as possible in areas that returned Labour Members of Parliament. Very little money was invested in the yards, who were required to compete with new yards in the Far East with very low labour rates.

Fred
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Old 11th May 2006, 16:59
Wild Rover Wild Rover is offline  
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fred, on the Tyne in the later years of shipbuilding it was decided that they could not compete with the far east in building basic ships and concentrated on specialist ships only. If you look at the ships built on the Tyne in recent years there are no basic type cargo ships at all.
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  #20  
Old 11th May 2006, 17:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Rover
fred, on the Tyne in the later years of shipbuilding it was decided that they could not compete with the far east in building basic ships and concentrated on specialist ships only. If you look at the ships built on the Tyne in recent years there are no basic type cargo ships at all.
Agreed WR, but only after privatisation and only to fill gaps in their MoD programme. Sadly there is not enough MoD work to keep all the yards in business.

Fred
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  #21  
Old 11th May 2006, 19:34
Wild Rover Wild Rover is offline  
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The last conventional cargo ship I can find that was built on the Tyne was the "Hoegh Duke" she was built at Swans Wallsend yard and was handed over in June 1984. There was the Atlantic Conveyor handed over in 1985 but she was a replacement for the ship sunk in the Falklands and was paid for by the Government. But even so it means its 21 or 22 years since a conventional cargo ship has been built on the Tyne. Amazing!

Last edited by Wild Rover : 11th May 2006 at 19:39.
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