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Rising with the Tide


The Stocznia Gdynia SA group takes second place in Europe in terms of the combined tonnage of container ships built in 2000. The group includes the Stocznia Gdynia and Stocznia Gdańska shipyards, and is among the world's largest builders of container ships. In late September, it participated in the Shipbuilding, Machinery & Marine Technology (SMM 2000) fair in Hamburg. In all, the Stocznia Gdynia group sold ship operators 25 vessels with a combined value of $1 billion in 2000. Stocznia Gdynia was the only shipyard to finalize two major contracts during the fair.

The first order was for two container ships for German ship operator Werner Bockstiegel, each with a value of about $20 million. The second was for four much larger vessels for B. Rickmers and P. Dohle, each with a value of about $80 million. These operators had earlier ordered six identical container ships from Stocznia Gdynia. A growing tradition of German ship operators placing orders for container ships in Gdynia and Gdańsk has made the Stocznia Gdynia group fourth in the world in the production of container ships, ahead of such potentates as the South Korean Daewoo shipyard.

Thanks to contracts signed in the course of the SMM 2000 fair in Hamburg, the Stocznia Gdynia group has orders for the construction of 68 ships with a combined value of $2.3 billion, guaranteeing work for the Gdynia and Gdańsk shipyards until the end of 2003.

The shipyard is presently carrying out major modernization investments. The yard's information system has been modernized to support ship design and company management. The old gantry crane, lost to a recent hurricane, will be replaced with a new crane that enables the construction of ships ashore, in large segments. After initial construction, the pieces are transferred to the dry dock to be put together like Lego blocks.
The shipyard's development strategy calls for an offering on the Warsaw and London stock exchanges in mid-2001. Janusz Szlanta, chairman of Stocznia Gdynia's management board, said “Funds raised in a public share issue will be used for the company's development, especially to upgrade its logistic systems, which involve 800 suppliers and subcontractors, more than half of which are Polish producers.”

The Warsaw Voice by Marek Grzybowski, 15 October 2000  

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