Shipbuilders And Marine Services Companies Span Two Continents
- By Mark H. Gay
- Nov. 07 2013 00:00
Dutch shipbuilders may return to Russia more than 300 years after Peter the Great granted their forebears a yard on the left bank of the River Neva. St. Petersburg is the maritime capital of Russia however the Caspian sea, with the nearby oil and gas industries, is the focus for shipyards.
Damen, which operates 50 yards around the globe, may establish its own production base in the Astrakhan special economic zone. The location is well placed for the Caspian market and the regional government is keen to revive water transport in the river delta. Other Dutch shipbuilders and suppliers are also reported to be considering the location.
Two large shipyards along with 14 marine equipment suppliers attended the biennial NEVA maritime exhibition in St. Petersburg in September. HME, the project organisation of the Holland Shipbuilding Association, hosted the Holland pavilion. Members supply not just marine equipment for shipyards but "everything you need to turn a steel hull into a ship," said HME Export Promotion Manager CIS & MEA, Michael Roerade.
"We know more than two shipyards as well as equipment suppliers who are interested in the Astrakhan Economic Zone and in setting up production for the Russian market, as well as to take advantage of tax breaks. But it has to be clear who will be the customer buying the ships," says Roerade.
Project Delta Group (PDG) was set up in 2009 to market the expertise of Dutch companies in the field of energy and related infrastructure. It aims specifically at doing business with Russian companies in the Yamal oil and gas project.
Some companies are already actively involved in Russian projects such as Shell in several regions of the Arctic including the Russian territories. Akzo Nobel is working with Rosneft. Van Oord and Royal Haskoning are working with Summa at Rotterdam port.
"We try to get as much exposure for members of PDG by using moments when governments meet," said Bert Panman, executive director of the Project Delta Group.
President Vladimir Putin visited Amsterdam in April. Dutch delegations attended the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum and also at the Yamal Conference at the end of May where we gathered in the Arctic Circle." Another meeting was due to have taken place in early November.
"My impression is that the activities in Yamal are going forward at high speed in infrastructure terms. The development of the Vankor field is also going ahead. The LNG project is at an advanced stage of decision making for airports and railroads."
In total PDG represents about 50 companies and institutions: large players like Shell which are looking for partnerships in exploring and producing oil and gas and projects with a long lead time; Marine contractors like Mammoet, Boskalis, Van Oord of which some have joint ventures but which are largely looking for contracts; and knowledge institutions like the University of Delft and others involved in applied research and development.