A Japanese dockyard prized by many owners in decades gone by for its VLCCs and panamax bulkers is to quit the merchant shipbuilding market in the latest cutback to shipyard capacity in the country amid fierce competition from rivals in China and South Korea.
Japan Marine United (JMU) will switch its Maizuru Shipyard to focus on naval repairs. Formerly Hitachi Maizuru, the Kyoto yard is one of five in the JMU stable. In recent years, the facility has focused on kamsarmaxes and MR tankers. Its current orderbook expires at the end of next year.
Loss-making JMU is getting a capital injection from rival shipbuilder Imabari, with the two groups set to combine their merchant shipbuilding facilities and Maizuru deemed surplus to requirements.