Photo: Illustration. Russian icebreakers at Havyard. Image by Havyard

Havyard switches business focus from newbuilds to repair, cuts 100 jobs

Norwegian shipbuilder New Havyard Ship Technology has decided to restructure its operations into a repair and service yard and reduce the number of staff by around 100.

As explained, the market for newbuilds and the possibilities of obtaining funding for building projects are expected to be challenging in the time ahead. At the same time, the service segment is healthy and profitable.

 “New Havyard Ship Technology must therefore restructure its operations to repairs, service and maintenance. The yard’s facilities, expertise and location mean that we are in a good position to be a reliable provider to customers in this market as well,” Gunnar Larsen, CEO of Havyard Group, said.

“The strategy of becoming a service and repair yard is absolutely necessary to keep as many jobs as possible,” he pointed out.

Layoffs

Converting the yard into a repair, maintenance and modification yard means that the yard will undergo a downsizing process that will reduce the number of employees by around 100. This will take place in the coming year, Havyard announced.

Erlend Hatleberg, General Manager of New Havyard Ship Technology, said that the new measures are necessary to ensure that the yard stays competitive. 

“We know that this is difficult for the people affected, but we are doing it to save as many jobs as possible. We are in close dialogue with the employee representatives and will take steps to make this difficult process as smooth as possible,” Hatleberg said.

“We are also in contact with Hyllestad municipality and the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) to ensure that those who lose their jobs are taken care of and receive help.”

Critical situation for the whole yard industry

The Norwegian yard industry is facing serious problems, and Havyard’s Larsen calls for more measures to facilitate shipbuilding in Norway.

“The measures notified by the authorities are not good enough to secure Norwegian yard jobs. More measures with more immediate effects in relation to transitioning to environmentally-friendly shipping would help both the Havyard yard … and the Norwegian maritime industry as a whole.”

Larsen further said that the major financial and practical consequences of the coronavirus pandemic are an extra challenge for the yards, and that the industry needs the authorities’ support to get through the crisis. 

Newbuilds

Havyard New Ship Technology has six newbuilds under construction that are scheduled for completion in 2020 and 2021. They include Esvagt’s three service operation vessels (SOVs).

As informed, the downsizing will take place in correlation with the completion of the newbuilds and the shift in activities at the yard as it receives new service assignments. 

Hatleberg added that they have not ruled out newbuild activities completely.

“We have newbuild expertise and experience of upscaling and downscaling the yard in line with demand.”

“Therefore, newbuilds may be an option in future, but for now, we will primarily concentrate on adding a new string to our bow: repairs, maintenance and modification.”

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