Havyard Ditching Newbuilds for Service and Repair Work

Mike Schuler
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November 6, 2020

Image courtesy Havyard

Norwegian shipbuilder Havyard has announced plans ditch newbuilds and focus its operations on ship repair and service. Unfortunately, this will lead to downsizing of about 100 staff at the yard.

The new strategy was announced during a staff meeting this week at the yard in Leirvik, Norway. CEO Gunnar Larsen said that while it was a difficult decision, it was ultimately the right one.

“But the strategy of becoming a service and repair yard is absolutely necessary to keep as many jobs as possible,” commented Larsen. In the current market environment, the market for new builds and funding opportunities “will be challenging in the time ahead,” Larsen said. Meanwhile, the service sector remains 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,” he said.

The downsizing of staff is expected to take place over the next year as the yard is converted into a repair, maintenance and modification facility. Havyard also expects to finish work on its six existing newbuilds that are scheduled for completion in 2020 and 2021. The yard expects to shift its activities as those are completed and new jobs come in.

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

Returning to new build activities is also not ruled out in the future.

“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,” said Hatleberg

Earlier this year, all work at the shipyard was temporarily suspended after an outbreak of COVID-19 at the facility.

According to the company’s website, Havyard completes around four to six new builds per year and employs 400 to 500 employees and subcontractors. It’s current six newbuilds include three live fish carriers and three wind farm service operations vessels (SOVs).

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