Aker yards boom time
Aker yards press release -
One plus one becoming three
Aker Yards, Cruise & Ferries business area combines the long tradition
of Finnish and French shipbuilding, benefitting from a unique design
competence and strong industrial synergies. The integration process
was named 1 + 1 = 3.
Since January 4, 2006 when the news of joining forces of the two giants
in cruise ship building was published, the traffic between the cities of
Saint Nazaire in France and Turku in Finland, where the two Aker Yards
post-panama yards are situated, has been busy.
The busiest travellers have been the members of the 14 task forces
consisting of both French and Finnish employees, which were established
for the integration process. When shaping of Aker Yards new Cruise &
Ferries business area they have been e.g. evaluating potential synergies
and gathering best experiences in both countries in order to prepare
suggestions for the executive management team s approval.
The joining of the forces of the French and Finnish companies was the
result of Aker Yards Cruise & Ferries business area s need to increase
its Post Panama business with new capacity. By capitalising on the
French yard s position to construct very large ships, the plan to create
one of the world leaders in shipbuilding came true. The new unit
benefits from a unique design competence, combining the long tradition
of French and Finnish cruise shipbuilding that has produced icons such
as SS France, Queen Mary 2, the Voyager class and the Freedom class
In Aker Yards capacity and capabilities are utilized cross national
borders. As to France and Finland, the team work between the yards
started already before the integration - sections of a cruise ferry in
the Finnish orderbook were manufactured in St Nazaire due to available
Aker Yards is known for innovative design prototypes. Besides the world
s largest delivered vessels - first Queen Mary 2 in France, then
Freedom of the Seas in Finland - innovations like the first all-
outside-cabin cruise ships, prefabricated cabins and bathroom modules,
Azipod propulsion and indoor promenade originate from Aker Yards.
After signing on 7 September 2006 the biggest contract ever in Aker
Yards` history, two new type of big cruise vessels for NCL, Aker Yards
has built, or are building, all twelve of the largest cruise ships in
"We think the best way to predict the future is to create it" says Yrjö
Julin, President of Aker Yards Cruise & Ferries. "There are certainly
many more innovations to come - especially now that we feel we have
the best facilities for cruise vessel and ferry shipbuilding in the
"Aker Yards key objective is building trust towards our suppliers and
partners. The new arrangement also opens opportunities for the marine
industry networks to find new working and supplying contacts both in
France and Finland and also elsewhere in Europe", Julin continues.
A bigger business area in a bigger group
The Aker Yards Cruise & Ferries business area now consists of five
yards: Aker Yards, St.Nazaire and Lorient in France and Aker Yards,
Turku, Rauma and Helsinki in Finland.
The legal names of the French and Finnish companies are Aker Yards SA
and Aker Yards Oy respectively, but the names Aker Yards, France and
Aker Yards, Finland as well as the locality names are used for
branding and communication purposes.
The Finnish yards are all amongst the largest yard facilities in Europe.
The yard in Turku with total land area of 144 hectares is one of the
biggest and most modern shipyards in Europe, building post-panama size
cruise vessels. The newbuilding dock measuring 365 x 80 m is served by
a gantry crane of 600 tons.
Also the yard in Saint Nazaire has over the last few years turned into
one of the world leaders in the important market of cruise ships. With
an area of 108 hectares the yard comprises a huge dry dock,
885 x 65 m served by a gigantic gantry crane of 750 tons.
The yard in Helsinki is specializing in car-passenger ferries, and the
Rauma yard is the world`s leading ferry builder, and is also specialized
in small cruise vessels, multipurpose icebreakers and naval craft.
The yard in Lorient produces hi-tech vessels of between 30 & 140 metres
The number of personnel in Aker Yards Finnish yards amounts to some
3,800 employees. The company`s "assembly yard" concept means employing
directly these "own" people and lots of others in co-operation
companies, thus boosting the whole surrounding economic region.
In France Aker Yards employs some 3,200 people.
The ca. 6.5 billion EUR order intakes of Aker Yards, Cruise & Ferries
consist of 17 newbuildings: The world`s three largest cruise vessels for
Royal Caribbean, two new type big cruise vessels for NCL, four luxury
cruise vessels for MSC Cruises, a cruise vessel and two fast day ferries
for Color Line, a cruise ferry and a fast passenger ferry for Tallink, a
ropax and a passenger ferry for Brittany Ferries and a fast
passenger/car ferry for Viking Line. In addition, there are five
options; with RCCL, MSC, NCL, Color Line and Viking Line.
Besides Cruise & Ferries, the international shipbuilding group Aker
Yards ASA (www.akeryards.com) is focusing on two other business areas,
i.e. Merchant Vessels and Offshore & Specialized vessels. Aker Yards
comprises in all 17 yards in seven countries (Brazil, Finland, France,
Germany, Norway, Romania and Ukraine) and has approximately 20,000
Aker Yards is part of the Aker Group (www.akerasa.com), a leading multi-
industry powerhouse with more than 50,000 employees and EUR 10 billion
revenues. Aker owns 50.4 per cent of Aker Yards, and the group is also a
significant participant in the oil & gas business as well as the
That article did not even mention the Aker yard in Philadelphia here in the U.S. They are building ten 45.000 ton Product Carriers for OSG in New York, the first vessel in due out in December, I was onboard a couple of weeks ago
TBN "Overseas Houston
Cheers Geoff....business really is booming then..!
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