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Recently, Polish shipbuilding industry has been spoken highly of. It is not a surprise since Polish shipyards are successfully fighting for the new orders, increase income, employ new workers and commission new vessels. Currently, the private entities of this industry are doing very well and improve their state over the months. One may warily talk about a boom in the shipbuilding industry. Nowadays, the shipyards represent the highest technical and technological quality. The private sector continues to develop and compete with shipyards from the whole Europe.
The government has decided to take advantage of the good situation on the market and, by new legal solutions, it is going to accelerate its development. These changes will not involve politics, but it will be a set of facilities for running shipyards. The “Bill on activating shipbuilding industry and complementary production” – a new bill for shipyards – includes solutions concerning tax simplification, incorporation of those firms into special economic zones as well as widening the access to European Union funds. The plans will include law regulations and constrains of support received from the European Union.
Rationalizations in paying the VAT tax are expected to make financial liquidity better. Currently, shipyards, while buying materials for production, pay VAT tax – 23%, which they get back from the country after finishing the production. After certain changes the shipyards controlled by the program would not have to pay VAT while issuing an invoice for concretely set materials. Another interesting change is the possibility to widen or create Special Economic Zones in the shipyards’ areas. This idea is thought to lower the costs of building; it will also let the investors employ more workers, which will probably help to increase the efficiency. The shipyards are to make a choice between paying CIT or flat, 1% tax from the value of the sold production. These changes will probably let the owners give about five thousands of new working places and increase the flow of the capital by one-fourth. The resolution is going to be accepted even this year, as to come into life on the 1st of the January 2017.
Polish shipbuilding sector has overhauled the global cutting edge long time ago. Modern business management and many innovations are the most important features of this sector. The shipyards concerned with building new types of ships, even the specialist ones. Their chance lies in modern innovations, not in building huge and expensive ships. Building smaller, but very modern vessels seems to be more valuable than technologically – obsolete colossuses. Considering the industry in terms of the cost of building one kilogram of the vessel, currently the quality of Polish shipyards’ products is similar to the costs of producing the most luxurious cars. Because of old-established, wide experience and huge base, they can orientate themselves to realization of even the most complicated tasks. Nowadays, building for the maritime sector is based on implementation of the elaborate electronic facilities and modern solutions. Thanks to this fact many of them have already received certain orders for 2017 and 2018 what constitutes a sign of the quality and customers’ trust. Of course many of the modern solutions are brought from the military sector. Polish shipyards, thanks to the cooperation with Polish Armaments Group and the Ministry of National Defense, develop the production of patrol vessels with the functions of destroying the mines and making our coast safe. The most important trades for this Group are: munition, off-shore, new technologies and real estates. What is more, Polish Armaments Group has many dockyards, which are able to produce any type of ships, vessels and maritime infrastructure for the civil and military use.
There are many companies that PGZ consists of. Maritime Refurbishment Shipyard Gryfia is placed in Szczecin and Świnoujście, takes care of the services including renovation, refurbishment, building new ships, emergency rebuilds and surveys. It employs 515 workers. MSR Gryfia services different types and sizes of the ships – the big trade ones, as well as the passenger ferries, specialist multitasking vessels, tugs and yachts. It also develops the installations which desulfurize the ships’ fumes. Moreover, the company produces some steel constructions for the offshore sector. Refurbishment Shipyard Nauta, production and rebuilding company set in the port in Gdynia, takes part in many extremely complex rebuilds, refurbishments and creating civil and military vessels.
Apart from that, in September 2015 Polish Armaments Group tried to seize Shipyards of the Navy, which is places in the same port as Nauta, but takes care mostly of making Polish Navy safe and building new vessels for it. What is more, it commands the full technical base for rebuilds, services and building some other vessels. This shipyard has been – unfortunately – in financial trouble for a few years. Nevertheless, it did not stop its activity and keeps building and renovating many various vessels. Nowadays, this dockyard deals with refreshing and servicing Polish submarines and is about to finish the future pride of Polish Navy – the patrolling ship ORP “Ślązak”. Apart from that, this company services the civil sector by building, refurbishing of the vessels and offshore constructing. Seizing Shipyards of Polish navy will definitely widen the abilities of PAG, despite the fact that this Group already represents promising potential in rebuilding and producing ships.
PGZ was invited by the Ministry of National Defense to the unassisted realization of two projects: “Czapla” and “Miecznik”. These are the projects of building new and very modern types of military vessels for Polish Navy. The goal is to build six vessels. Two new types of them seem to be quite similar to each other; the significant difference lies in the module construction, simplifying fast adjustment of the vessel to the demands of the fighting field and exact task. They will provide pad and hangar for choppers, slip for assault boats and the possibility to use certain apparatus and unmanned boats. Depending on the version, they will be powered by two or four engines. Both of the projects are to have the load displacement higher than 2645 t and the opportunity of further modernization and development while utilized. They will be built with use of the technology invisible for the radars, commanded with the most modern arms and electronic apparatuses. The projects of the corvette “Miecznik” and patrolling ship “Czapla” will be the greatest munition orders for Polish Navy.
In April 2014, rebuilding shipyard started the production of the first destroyer of mines from Kormoran II series. The agreement about building three of these vessels, worth PLN 1.5 billion, was signed in September 2013. This ship is to be given to Navy by the end of 2016, the next two ones – in 2019 and 2022, respectively.
Another innovational, already civil, projects put into sea in Polish shipyards in 2014 are the tugs with hybrid power. They are the first ones of this type in the world. The tugs are widely used closed to the coast and in the ports – that is the reason why the use of electric and combustion engines reduces the pollution of air and water. This vessels use combustion engines only when necessary, for the most of the time they use electric energy stored in accumulators. These projects were entirely set in Poland and based on the most modern global standards. The fact that building of such type of vessels and many other ones is already possible in Polish shipyards, serves as a proof of the modernity of this industry in Poland.
The detritus of Shipyard in Szczecin consists of many different companies and smaller dockyards, which are in charge of various projects – rebuilding, building and steel constructions. The biggest one is already mentioned, MSR Gryfia. However, one of the more interesting ones is Alumare. This small shipyard builds fuselages, superstructure and offshore constructions only from aluminum. It specializing also in rebuilding of vessels from aluminum.
Another interesting one is Hullkon, which built the prototype ferry powered by LNG gas. Hullkon launches from two to three vessels yearly, cooperating with the ship owners and shipyards from Germany, Holland, Denmark or Norway. It builds the ships appropriate for searching oil and huge ocean-going cutters.
Finomar builds the vessels up to 100m long. This shipyard can boast of building ferries, tankers, punts, pontoons, servicing and fishing boats. Finomar employs about 200 people as a staff and cooperates with German receivers and shipyards in Tri-City.
Partner shipyard is also the remnant from Shipyards in Szczecin, placed in Police. In the last 10 years, Partner has built more than 50 vessels and in the better period even ten per annum – container ships, tankers, punts, common vessels and dredgers. The company is able to make the ships up to 120m long and 6. 5 thousand DWT of tonnage.
It is hard to say whether the trade of producing small vessels will be included into the forthcoming law changes, as they are not mentioned in the new announcement, which prioritizes big economical entities. Possibly, this is caused by the fact that the shipbuilding industry in Poland is entirely self-sufficient and does not require any help from the country. The volume of shipbuilding market is estimated to be even ten times bigger than yacht building. However, this second shipbuilding trade means a lot on this market. The value of ships export is 12.5 times bigger than the value of yachts export.
Poland has become a leader in building small and middle – sized yachts. In 2015, 17-20 thousand of yachts were produced. The production potential of this sector is estimated for 22 thousand of yachts yearly – that is Poland used to produce just before the global crisis of 2008-2009. Only 5% of vessels stays in Poland, the rest of them is ordered and send to other countries. Poland tend to produce mostly cruisers with outboard engines from 6 to 10 meters. Our export pride is the production of smaller cruisers up to 9 meters. These vessels are about 50% of the export among EU and 30% export into the countries from outside EU. In this category, the only competitor can be yacht industry in USA. The most common directions of export are Western Europe, Scandinavia, Mediterranean countries, USA and Russia. The value of boats and yachts sold in our country reaches nearly EUR 1 billion yearly. The owners of the companies estimate, that the growth in production takes approximately about 5% per annum. It is thought that selling the yachts responsible for 0.15% of the value of whole Polish export. They also claim that there are more and more Polish and foreign customers and the selling markets keep the tendency of widening.
Every year, on the Polish coast and at the lakes boats and yachts are used more than 200 000 thousand people. There are about 60 000 different vessels in Poland. Most of them are sailboats and cruiser appropriate for inland sailing. All of them need berths, repositories for winter and service, also this connected with engine. Apart from the production market and selling the new products, there is also the huge service market of smaller vessels. In this sector, there are about 900 companies, including yacht shipyards, producers of accessories, dealers’ networks, waterscapes, charter and touristic companies, accommodation places. The yachts are usually produced from scratch, so Polish yacht building does not consist only of the production of the whole vessels. It is also the huge trade of units. Most of them are the companies in charge of production and selling the accessories, in majority the middle – sized ones with great development capital. They are specialized in designing high – quality accessories, such as sails, metal accessories, padding, furniture, electronic devices and elements from polycarbonate or wood. Poland is the leader in motorboat industry. As it comes to the quality of Polish shipyards, it can be considered as the first league and real leader in the category of smaller yachts.
The crisis in 2008-2009 also significantly affected the shipbuilding market. Many foreign companies of the world-renowned class faced bankruptcy or were sold. Although there was a recession in Poland, none of the companies finished their activity or changed the owner. As a result of the smaller amount of orders the shipyards curbed the production and were forced to relieve some staff members, but they did not stopped their activity. Since 2010, the amount of production and the quantity of offered models has been increasing. Based on it, Polish market seems to be stable and beneficial. The companies survived the crisis, nowadays they are in growth phase. Apart from that, reducing the amount of companies at the European market influenced the demand for new products in a positive way. It can be said that currently Polish yacht industry has even more orders than it can produce – and it is always a good sign for the future.