Sanoyas quits shipbuilding, sells yard to Shin Kurushima

Japanese shipyard consolidation continues at pace with the troubled sector seeing a famous name change hands for less than $10,000.

Sanoyas Holdings announced today it will withdraw from the shipbuilding business. At the end of February next year, all shares of subsidiary Sanoyas Shipbuilding will be sold to Shin Kurushima Dockyard for just ¥1m ($9,662).

Sanoyas cited sluggish demand and intense competition from China and South Korea as reasons for its exit from the business. The shipbuilding subsidiary registered a $26m loss in the last quarter.

Sanoyas’s main yard, Mizushima, has a huge 675 m by 63 m drydock, one of the largest in Japan. It has nine panamax bulk carriers on its orderbook at present. Shin Kurushima, by contrast, has a far more healthy orderbook of 44 ships of various ship types. It is best known for its car carriers.

Japanese shipbuilding, which went through an extensive merger phase in the early 2000s, is now going through another round of consolidation with many yard groups merging or forming alliances.

A report from Danish Ship Finance earlier this year sent shudders through the shipbuilding community, exposing how many yards around the world are at risk of extinction as orderbooks dwindle with limited appetite for new tonnage.

The report suggested there will be more than 200 yard closures in the coming months and years with Japanese yards most at risk. A total of 45 Japanese yards were identified to be at risk of running out of orders in the next 13 months.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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