Kuzey Star Shipyard: building for Russia in Turkey
In 2021, Turkey’s Kuzey Star Shipyard secured several large state contracts including the construction of two LNG-powered icebreakers for Rosmorport and a floating dock for Rosatom. The shipyard is not a new player in the Russian market. KSS is about to deliver two dual-fuel ferries to Rosmorport and it has been providing ship repair services to Russia’s largest ship owners for a long lime. Ersoy Solmaz, Business Development & Commercial Director, answers the questions of IAA PortNews.
- Mr. Solmaz, please tell about the new project of LNG-powered icebreakers for Rosmorport.
- The contract of two LNG-powered icebreakers for Rosmorport was signed on August 05, 2021. The construction will start after the design stage. Kuzey Star shall make the detail design & engineering documentation.
The 1st ship is being planned to deliver in September 2024 with the 2nd ship delivery planned for December 2024.
- Yes, it will. We do not see any obstacles for that and we already had positive experience of interaction with RS. We find RS’s involvement in the project valuable in many aspects. Moreover, we have the opportunity to exchange business ideas with RS as we had when building ferries for Rosmorport.
- Two large ferries and two large icebreakers …. Is your facility's production capacity sufficient?
- KSS facilities are sufficient to build four icebreakers simultaneously. The experience and knowhow of building Rosmorport’s ferries will be used in the construction of these new icebreakers by means of design, manpower and equipment.
- Please tell us at what completion phase is Rosmorport’s two CNF19M ferries project?
- Both ferries are in delivery stage. Delivery dates for both vessels, the Marshall Rokossovsky and the General Chernyakhovsky were postponed due to global Covid/pandemic situation, which were considered as force majeure. Total delay is about 12 months.
- What were the main challenges in the implementation of this project?
- They are the first ferries of its kind. The design and dual fuel system integrations were challenging but such LNG ferries will be a breakthrough for both Rosmorport and KSS. Besides, some investments were carried out in upgrading the slipway, warehouses, additional heavy transport vehicles (SPMT), etc.
- Please tell us about the construction project of a floating dock commissioned by Atomflot.
– The project is to be completed in the last quarter of 2023. We do not expect any challenges. MEB (Marine Engineering Bureau) designed the dock. Custom design is done, plan approval design (PAD) is under process.
- Taking into account such a significant experience of interaction with Russian customers, do you plan to participate in tendering processes for shipbuilding contracts in Russia in the future?
- Taking the advantage of good communication with Russian Customers and other pros such as quality manufacturing and reasonable prices, Russian shipbuilding projects extremely matter to us. Our future plans are based upon Russian projects as well as other niche projects that will bring value to our business. On the other side, whilst planning our schedule and order book, we prefer to be selective and meticulous.
- Are there any other shipbuilding projects in Kuzey Star Shipyard's order book?
– Apart from Russian projects, we expect to ink a deal with a French Owner regarding a Sailing Ro-Ro vessel in 4th quarter of 2021.
- As far as we know, you have been awarded many ship repair orders. Are there any Russian customers who placed ship repair orders?
– Our annual ship repair and maintenance capacity is about 100-120 ships. Every kind of ships and floating equipment are repaired at Kuzey Star Shipyard, like Bulk carriers, General Cargo ships, LPG tankers, Chemical tankers, Live Stock Carriers, Containers, off shore vessels, RO-RO, passanger ships, barges etc.
We carry out standard docking, steel renewal, blasting & painting works, pipe repair & renewal, BWTS installation, Scrubber installation, engine repair and overhauling works, etc.
Moreover, we are active and specialised shipyard for sophisticated Projects like conversions, we convert ships to live stock carriers, we carry out en-lengthening projects and we convert PSV vessels to live fish carriers. As of now, we are accommodating a PSV Vessel for conversion purpose to live fish carrier for a Norwegian client.
We have Russian clients visiting us regularly, like Inok, Rosnefteflot, Aston shipping, Rosewood shipping, Murmansk shipping companies who are loyal clients of Kuzey Star Shipyard. There is yearly diversity for the share of Russian clients, we can say between 15% to 20% of the Projects are from Russia.
- Do you have an interest in buying shipbuilding and ship repair assets in other countries?
– As our business for shipbuilding and ship repair expands, we have an interest for new assets in other countries however, this will primarily require a strategic business planning feasibility work.