Japan’s Tsuneishi Shipbuilding is seeking to build large passenger ships in China.
With Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ withdrawal from building cruise ships, the Japanese have all but given up the cruise shipbuilding business, Nikkei reported.
Tsuneishi, part of transport and engineering group Tsuneishi Holdings, will begin building cruise ships in the early 2020s at its Chinese shipyard in Zhejiang Province. It expects its first order to come from a group affiliate.
The vessels will be of 200 m – 240 m long and hold 600 to 800 pax, comparable to the ‘Asuka 2’ – Japan’s largest luxury ship – operated by NYK.
To be able to fit out the ships, Tsuneishi will begin work this year on extending the outreach of a large crane next to its Zhejiang shipyard by roughly 40 m. It will also build a shed to centrally manage construction materials.
The company plans to recruit local expertise for its Zhejiang and Shanghai design centres, in order to build ships tailored to the Chinese market.
Chinese shipbuilders are now also starting to make moves. For example, China State Shipbuilding has announced a partnership with Fincantieri to deliver China’s first cruise ships in 2022.
Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which built the ‘Asuka 2’, has pulled out of large passenger ship building after suffering a 254 bill yen ($2.25 bill) in losses on a roughly 100 bill yen order in 2011 for two vessels for Aida Cruises, Nikkei said.