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Feature 1 | SHIPBUILDING IN CHINA Filling the skills gap


Developing into a competitive and competent shipbuilding facility at the rate that has been achieved by many Chinese yards requires the rapid development of skills and technological excellence. Sandra Tsui discovers how DNV is helping China meet its need for high quality, trained personnel.


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shortage of skills and technology are issues that face all developing countries when they first enter an


industry, China is no different. Te country has already developed into one of the most prolific and important shipbuilding bases worldwide, but the nation needs to level its expertise in research and development (R&D) capability to match that of its peers in the developed world if it is to survive and keep growing. When asked what the challenges are for the


present shipbuilding industry in China, Zhao Jia Lin, pre-contract Manager of DNV China, pointed out that while labour and raw material costs are on the rise, ship prices are falling. Excess supply also poses problems as not only China, but other countries in the region such as South Korea continue to expand their building capacity. More importantly, China has to strengthen its R&D ability to gain an edge on skills and technology. While the first two issues may not be


handled one-sidedly by China; China’s shipbuilding industry can certainly tackle and has already started to take on the third challenge. “Not many Chinese shipyards have their


own R&D departments. Many of them still rely on independent local or overseas design houses. While green design and energy saving are issues facing the whole shipbuilding industry, China does not have an advantage in terms of technology, research and development yet compared with its peers in the developed world,” said Mr Zhao. Some sizable shipyards in the country


do have their own R&D departments, but when it comes to certain special ship types, even larger shipyards look for help from independent design consultants such as Shanghai Bestway Marine Engineering Design. Yards of medium size oſten rely on independent design houses and the research units under large state-owned shipbuilding enterprises, such as the Marine Design &


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the technological advancement of China’s shipbuilding industry and bring its research results and know-how to the country,” said Mr Zhao. The classification society has recently


provided professional advice to Hudong Zhonghua Shipbuilding (Group) Co Ltd and MARIC, both subsidiaries of CSSC, on a project of developing a new LNG carrier model, said Mr Zhao. Hudong Zhonghua is the first Chinese


shipyard having the capability to build LNG carriers. Te present 147,210m3


Zhao Jia Lin, Pre-contract Manager for DNV in China.


Research Institute of China (MARIC) and the Shanghai Merchant Ship Design & Research Institute (SDARI) under China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), according to Mr Zhao. A common cooperation model is that


when a shipyard first receives an inquiry from a shipowner, it would ask a design consultant to prepare a preliminary design. Aſter an order has been confirmed, the shipyard will formally assign the consultant to proceed on the detailed design. If no order is resulted, whether the preliminary design is paid would depend on the agreement between the parties and the complexity of the preliminary design. Some design house may require the yard to pay a small sum in advance. In some rarer cases, shipyards may


delegate a consultant to work out a design of a particular ship type before it has secured any order and then sell that design to shipowners. Tere are also situations where consultants initiate a project on its own and sell the end product to shipyards, explained Mr Zhao. “Spending 6% to 7% of revenue on


research, development and innovation every year, DNV is keen to play a role in


LNG carrier


model of Hudong Zhonghua is of medium size, propelled by steam turbine and designed for long distance operations. The new model, also targeting long


distance routes, will be of a larger size. Te key criterion of the new design is energy saving and the research team will consider whether to continue using steam turbine like the existing design of LNG carrier of Hudong Zhonghua, or to use duel fuel engine, according to Mr Zhao. DNV has also been involved in the FPDSO


(floating production, drilling, storage & offloading unit) project of Cosco (Nantong) Shipyard Company Limited and Norway’s Sevan Marine. Meanwhile, DNV is introducing its new


containership concept “Quantum”, released this April, to the China market. DNV has integrated a long list of innovative solutions into the Quantum which the institute claims can transport more cargo with less fuel and a reduced environmental impact. If Quantum is realised as designed, it would


be a 272.3m long, 6210TEU vessel with a design speed of 21knots, but can operate efficiently at speeds between less than 10knots and more than 22knots. Te design has a beam of 42.5m which gives it good stability and it has a width of 49.0m that will increases its cargo capacity. Te need for ballast water is minimised and LNG is introduced as part of the ship’s fuel. NA


The Naval Architect September 2010


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