Sinopacific Shipbuilding Group Co Ltd is hoping to achieve leadership in the domestic shipbuilding sector against the backdrop of a sluggish world economy. Ningbo, Zhejiang-based Sinopacific over the weekend signed a contract worth $1 billion with French offshore oil and gas marine services provider Bourbon Group to build 62 offshore supply vessels over the next few years. The deal is the largest new order for a single Chinese shipbuilder since the global financial crisis broke out in September 2008, dragging down the market performance of Chinese shipbuilders. Analysts say the deal will further consolidate Sinopacific's market position as the world's largest marine engineering vessel builder, and will provide stimulus for its future development. Sinopacific also announced that it had signed a deal with the Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim Bank) with the latter providing a $400 million loan to improve its bottomline.
"Sinopacific, launched in 2003 through the purchase of two shipbuilding businesses in Zhejiang, is aiming to achieve a transformation into an equipment and technology-intensive marine vessel shipbuilder to achieve better performance in China's labor-intensive shipbuilding sector," Liang Xiaolei, chairman of Sinopacific Shipbuilding Group, told China Daily. He added that his company, which had so far delivered 100 vessels for Bourbon, will continue to provide comprehensive shipbuilding services through technology upgrades and scientific management, and exert its expertise in vessel design. Jacques de Chateauvieux, chairman and CEO of Bourbon, said Sinopacific is more than a mere shipbuilder, but has the capacity to provide vessel designs that meet Bourbon's specific needs. "Such comprehensive integrated shipbuilding capacity enables Sinopacific to produce vessels that meet our strict quality standards, which is vital for us," he said.
Sinopacific last year delivered a total of 60 vessels, with overall sales volume topping $2 billion, becoming the leader among China's private shipbuilders. It said that marine vessel delivery from the company is expected to reach 75 this year, a big jump from 2009. The company, which employees over 22,000 people, is also awaiting approval from the Chinese securities watchdog to float shares on the A-share market in Shanghai. China is beginning to see a recovery with contracted new vessels orders reaching 19.64 million deadweight tons from January to May this year, almost 17 times the same period last year, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said earlier.