New Side Thruster Plant Begins Operation at Harima Works
Oct. 23, 2008
Tokyo, October 23, 2008 — Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. announced today that it has completed construction on a side thruster production plant at its Harima Works. Plant operations will be officially launched with an opening ceremony on the 24th.
Kawasaki has moved its side thruster production operations from its Kobe Works to the recently completed Side Thruster Plant No. 1 at Harima. The new and larger plant will enable Kawasaki to boost production as well as operational efficiency. Kawasaki expects production at the new facility to reach approximately 500 thrusters per year. That number combined with the production volume at Kawasaki’s Chinese subsidiary, Wuhan Kawasaki Marine Machinery Co., Ltd., will bring the production capacity up to approximately 900 thrusters per year and make Kawasaki the largest side thruster manufacturer in the world. Kawasaki will improve its price competitiveness and lead time even further with the installation of new machinery and equipment.
Side thrusters provide ships with lateral thrust and are widely utilized to maneuver various types of marine vessels such as container ships and ferries as they berth and unberth. The pace of side thruster production has been increasing in step with a thriving shipbuilding market that has been buoyed by the recent boom in the shipping industry. The new plant will play a pivotal role as a new production base designed to respond to this growing demand.
Kawasaki plans to build a second thruster plant at its Harima Works in order to step up production of its azimuth thruster, the Rexpeller. The new plant will enable Kawasaki to meet the rising demand for offshore ships that has been triggered by the growing number of offshore oil field development projects.
Outline of Side Thruster Plant No. 1