Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. said May 28 that it signed a technological collaboration agreement on container carriers with Imabari Shipbuilding Co.
The tie-up is aimed at competing with Chinese and South Korean shipbuilders by combining the two companies' technological expertise.
Imabari Shipbuilding, Japan’s largest specialized shipbuilder, excels in technology to build ships at lower costs. The company, with other shipbuilders under its umbrella, leads the domestic industry, exceeding major heavy machinery makers in terms of construction volume.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which ranked second in shipbuilding volume in 2011 among Japanese heavy machinery makers with a shipbuilding division, is strong in environmental and energy-saving technologies.
The company boasts the technology to turn liquefied natural gas into fuel for vessels and to reduce friction drag exerted by water by using bubbles.
The technological cooperation agreement between the two companies will cover every container vessel they build, and the companies will also work together during production. When the alliance wins an order involving multiple vessels, construction will be carried out at the two firms’ shipyards.
The term of the agreement is three years, but it could be extended.
Japan’s shipbuilding industry largely consists of major heavy machinery makers with a shipbuilding division, such as Mitsubishi Heavy, and shipbuilding-only companies such as Imabari Shipbuilding.
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