Germany’s largest shipbuilding group, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, part of steel giant ThyssenKrupp, is axing 450 jobs at its facilities in Kiel and Emden. A TKMS spokesperson confirmed that the group wants to cut 200 of 2,400 jobs at HDW shipyard in Kiel by March 2010. At Emden-based Nordseewerke 250 of 1,400 employees will also be made redundant.
The move was necessary due to cancellations of orders, which resulted in under-utilisation at the facilities in Kiel and Emden. In April, orders for four containerships at TKMS yards HDW and Nordseewerke were cancelled by NSB Niederelbe, which was unable to get financing from banks. In addition, an order for six large yachts was cancelled.
TKMS is merging its naval and merchant shipbuilding business units in Kiel. HDW Gaarden, which builds containerships and yachts, and submarine specialist HDW will be combined again after TKMS separated them some years ago. The future of the Blohm+Voss shipyard in Hamburg would also depend on the number of orders it received.
ThyssenKrupp has additional problems at Nobiskrug, which is on the verge of insolvency. It sold the Rendsburg-based yacht-building specialist last year to Guernsey-based investor Eagle River Capital but gave guarantees for five yachts currently under construction at Nobiskrug. However, despite its interest to save the yard from insolvency, TKMS has not agreed to a joint rescue plan involving banks and the state Schleswig-Holstein that would see it increasing its guarantees.
The rescue package is said to be worth Euro 150m ($209.6m) including loan facilities and guarantees.
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