Maritime CEO

Honeywell: Increasing China focus

Paris: There’s unlikely to be any significant recovery in shipping and shipbuilding through to 2015, says the head of a leading ship equipment maker. Philippe Despagne is the general manager of Honeywell Marine, a firm specializing in precision level measurement systems for marine applications.

“It is a shy recovery at the moment,” Despagne says, “with no strong recovery likely till 2015.”

There are certain sectors that are performing better than others, he says. LNG and LPG are both booming, he says, with Honeywell recently bagging contracts for automation systems for six LNG carriers to be built at China’s Hudong-Zhonghua. Similarly, chemical and product tankers have “good dynamics”, while both dry bulk and containers are picking up. The crude side of shipping, however, is “ugly”, Despagne reckons.

Honeywell shifted its manufacturing this year from France to Tianjin in northern China, certification for the new facilities coming a fortnight ago. 85% of Honeywell’s revenues come from Asia these days.

In China, Honeywell has been doing a lot of business with China Shipping, CNOOC and Cosco Dalian among others. The firm is aiming for a 25% market share in China by the end of next year. [10/12/13]

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