Shipyard Famagusta in #Issue81: diversity and expansion plans to meet the high demand
With an increase in new building requests and demand for tug-boats, towing-boats, anchor handling tugs, Shipyard Famagusta is keen to expand its team and investments to ensure its potential to cover this high demand. After the recent successful partnership with Kongsberg in an Azimuth System repair project, the company is on the lookout for diversity, new opportunities and expansion plans, according to Robban Assafina’s host MEng Cagla Izkan Ozgunduz, Marketing Manager at Famagusta Shipyard.
Famagusta Shipyard has been considered a pioneer in ship building & repair in Cyprus. Where do you see Famagusta Shipyard positioned today in the maritime industry?
We are an important stopping point among the Mediterranean Sea traffic. İskenderun, Lattakia, Tartous, Tripoli, Beirut, Port Said, Damietta and Alexandria are important trade ports that are located 300 miles from our yard. With the increased cost of freight, ship owners prefer the least possible stay duration in shipyards. Thus, we are able to offer good quality services with short delivery times.
The previous years were challenging for different industries all over the world, and shipping wasn't an exception. How do you recall those challenges for Famagusta Shipyard business & achievements journey?
For Shipyard Famagusta, last year had been full of ups and downs, but the business never stopped as we continued working; sometimes with a little number of workers who had to work as part time shifts. For Famagusta, the most difficult part was trying to keep all our team healthy during the pandemic. We have 120 full time workers including mechanics, pipe fitters, steel workers and electricians who work closely together, that means if one of us got sick, we are all at real risk. This has led to a slowdown in some fields of the business as we had to quarantine a group of people from time to time. Thankfully, we have managed to get through this period with all our healthy personnel as well as our business is on track.
Famagusta Shipyard is currently undertaking the repair of an Azimuth System in partnership with Kongsberg maritime. How is this project going?
One of our customer’s tug-boat has been in a minor accident that led to a major damage in the Azimuth system. Although, our mechanical team is highly experienced with conventional propulsion systems, our experience in azimuth thruster helped us to change the seals of the lower unit. After the accident, with the guidance of Kongsberg’s maritime technician, our team has removed the upper and lower units, taking them to our nearest workshop to be disassembled. The necessary measurement was taken, sent to Kongsberg for assessment and identification of parts that must be renewed. We machined the upper unit nest in situ, which was about 1800mm diameter. Now, the vessel is awaiting next available docking period to go on drydock for reassembly of systems. All in all, our mechanical team has been very passionate about the project, asking and learning from Kongsberg’s technicians. For us, the most important profit from this project has been the learning experience.
How is the new shipbuilding market for Shipyard Famagusta? Are there new orders? In your opinion, towards what type of ships are the new orders heading?
Last month, we sold the latest built 18-ton bollard pull “Rina class” tug boat, and there’s another tug that has been ordered after the delivery of the first, it’s expected to be completely done by the end of 2022.
Since the Mediterranean region is going through a vibrant time, especially with a lot of ongoing offshore projects, this brings the need for tug-boats, towing-boats, anchor handling tugs and such. As we are mainly a repair yard, we can see a prominent increase in new building requests and we are keen to expand our team and investments to ensure that we can cover the demand.
Famagusta’s HR team is leading a busy recruitment procedure, and there’s a lot of job adverts from your company constantly. What is the reason of the new job openings?
As our work is vastly increasing and to keep the quality of our services, we need more people to be on site to oversee all works and be present at our offices for the aim of planning works so that they don’t interfere with each other. We are also keen to bring more diverse people into our team, especially with different experiences, backgrounds, ages and perspectives. Whether it is a repair or a new shipbuilding project, diversity brings quality. As for the business, our management is not diffident on spending time or money to expand the team because we are sure of the return on investment.
Many shipping fairs have been delayed in the past year, which has led to many gatherings in one year. What are your thoughts on this?
We agree! It has certainly been a very busy year for the marketing department and will continue to be busy. We managed to attend Nor-shipping, Bosphorus Shipbrokers Dinner, Posidonia and SMM Hamburg. In the same way, we plan to attend MOC Egypt and Seatrade Maritime Middle East. For us, it’s important to attend these events to meet new customers and suppliers as well as spend time in a more relaxed environment.
Robban Assafina Magazine, Issue 81, Sept./ Oct. 2022, Maritime Host, P.91