EDITORIAL

Sign of the tides

The re-emergence of Finnish marine cluster is leaving a very positive impact on Finnish economy. Leading the pack, there is the Turku shipyard which is a very important local operator in Southwest Finland. The regional impacts of the shipyard extend to the whole country because three-fourths of its direct supplier companies are domestic.

Meyer Turku has been experiencing remarkably smooth sailing, with order books extending to the year 2025. The shipyard also expects growth to continue beyond mid-2020’s.

Presently, Meyer Turku is the fourth largest employer in Southwest Finland, employing about 4,100 persons directly and 4,000 employers indirectly.

There is fresh data available on the over-all impact of the shipyard, since City of Turku and Meyer Turku ordered a survey from the University of Turku in autumn 2019, focusing on the regional economic impacts of the shipyard and its supplier network.

According to the survey, the combined turnover related to the production of the shipyard and to the production of its direct supplier companies is about EUR 1.9 billion which corresponds to a growth of 46% compared to the financial statement of the year 2016.

The value of supply orders to the shipyard has grown very strongly: it has almost doubled in two years (+ 84%). The value of the supply orders was approximately EUR 933 million in 2018 when the corresponding figure in 2016 was approximately EUR 508 million.

The value of domestic supply orders of Meyer Turku increased by 64% to approximately EUR 638 million; the value of foreign supply orders increased by 150% to approximately EUR 295 million.

The survey reveals that despite the differences in the values of the supply orders, the amount of supplier companies has remained nearly unchanged. In 2018, the shipyard had a total of 1,246 direct supplier companies (927 domestic; 319 foreign).

Ship-making is a business that is not restricted to the coast: in fact, the companies which belong to the subcontractor network represent 109 municipalities all over Finland. The survey finds that an increase in the production of the shipyard benefits the companies of all sizes and in different fields, regardless of the territorial boundaries.

Correspondingly, there are foreign subcontractors around the world, with Germany snatching 72% of the value of the foreign supply orders. This is explained by the fact that the shipyard has received FERUs (Floating Engine Room Unit) from the Meyer shipyard in Rostock.

Rising tide lifts all boats? – It would appear so.

Petri Charpentier

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