Shipyards around the world have suffered a serious recession in recent years as the need for massive supertanker lessened and the cost of new ships grew.
Shipyards around the world have suffered a serious recession in recent years as the need for massive supertanker lessened and the cost of new ships grew. Now one Japanese shipyard has turned their resources to building floating factories instead.
SYNOPSIS: This factory is being built at the Kure shipyard near Hiroshima. It is in fact a pulp plant -- the first of its kind to be built to be built on the industrial platform system. It's been ordered by a Brazilian company which specialises in the development of forested regions, and will eventually be used on the Amazon River. The plant is designed to produce a pulp from the pine wood grown in the region, forming one part of a large forest industrial complex.
The installation is divided into two platforms. One holds the main pulp plant and the other is for the power generators to supply the necessary energy. The whole floating factory is being constructed at an estimated cost of 600 million yen (about 1.16 million pounds sterling).
The company building the platform is facing a serious shortage of orders for new ships. The last tanker to be built by them was in April this year and there have been no further orders since then. The shipbuilding world has been hit very badly by the energy crisis as rising oil prices have forced many countries to seek other power sources. With the falling oil demand has come less demand for supertanker. The Horae shipyard think they may have the answer for the time being. But their real hope is that the recession will end soon and they can return to building tankers.