Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft shipyard made a loss on the back of constructing Irish Ferries’ WB Yeats – but the shipyard took “immediate action” and “is making good progress”, Shippax Ferry Conference delegates were told.
Flensburger head of sales and design André Powilleit explained “It was an ambitious project in price, schedule and quality. It definitely met quality – we received positive feedback. But we had a financial hiccup earlier this year that was related to this project, so we made a loss [this was reported in the media]. Now, we have taken immediate action, received a new investor and replaced our chief executive.
“We are re-planning and it is quite a complex activity because [it involves] suppliers, customers and the shipyard itself but we are making good progress and pushing hard on our next vessels.”
The shipyard has divided the ropax sector into four segments: those below 160 m, those above 160 m, an LNG fast product line and more freight-orientated vessels.
Mr Powilleit said “Every ship is individually optimised on design. There are so many differences in properties and characteristics.”
He singled out an example. There are three different LNG solutions: container solutions, trailers and fixed style LNG solutions to increase flexibility for customisation.
To reduce costs, the shipyard is focusing on standardising processes and tools, a large part of which involves digitalisation. “Our focus on digitalisation started 10 years ago… we are really digital not just in the technology, but in processes and tools – it is all about standardisation.”
The shipyard is proud of its work on WB Yeats, which is the first big ship in the ropax segment that it has built.
Mr Powilleit commented “The rudder and propeller design is based on our own capabilities. It is the first vessel we have built where there is the requirement for safe return to port… it was a really complex system integration task.” He said it was a “perfect achievement”.
The shipyard also has Brittany Ferries’ LNG dual-fuelled Honfleur on its orderbook.