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Meyer Turku knows how to build ships

According to historical records, craftsmen have been building ships on the shores of the river Aurajoki in Turku since 1737, so the work traditions of this region go far back in time. In Finland, the peak shipbuilding period was in the 1970's. At that time, Turku's shipyard, located near the town centre of Turku, at the mouth of the river Aurajoki, proved to be too small. Situated to the north of Turku, the Perno area was chosen for the location of a new shipyard, where shipbuilding began in 1976. Now, the shipyard workers are busy building the Megastar, which will be finished in early 2017.

At first, mainly cargo ships were built at Perno, Turku’s newest shipyard. The shipyard’s history has not been pure good fortune, because the owners and the names have changed often over the years. There have been many reasons behind this, such as bankruptcies and business acquisitions. The shipyard has previously operated under the names Wärtsilä 1976-1989, Masa-Yards 1989-1991, Kvaerner Masa-Yards 1991-2001, Aker Finnyards 2001-2007, STX Europe 2007-2013, and from 2014 onwards as Meyer Turku.

“Although the name of the shipyard has changed over the course of the years, the skills of shipbuilding have remained intact here,”

said Tapani Mylly, the Communication Manager at the Meyer Turku shipyard.

Meyer is a German family company with a long and steady history in shipbuilding. It is one of the largest shipbuilding companies in Europe. The company has a long-term investment plan for the shipyard at Turku, so the atmosphere at the shipyard is positive.

“With the help of Meyer, the shipyard’s order log is good, reaching all the way to the year 2020,” Mylly was pleased to say.

Focusing on passenger ships

During the late 1980’s, as Asian companies were grabbing the market share of cargo ships, Perno started focusing more on cruise ships. Since then, record-breaking passenger ships that have received a lot of international publicity have been built at this shipyard. Finland’s largest passenger ship, the Silja Serenade, was completed in 1990. The Voyager class cruise ships commissioned by Carnival Cruises in the late 1990’s were the largest in the world at that time. Two Oasis class ships completed in the early 2000’s are still one of the largest cruise ships in the world. Around 2010, two of the world’s largest car-passenger ferries were made for Color Line.

Many ships in the works

Megastar’s production number at the shipyard is NB 1391. That number is written in white paint on all of the metal parts intended for the ship, with additional codes helping to pinpoint their exact location. Work at the Meyer Turku shipyard is extremely well organised and on schedule. It had better be, because in addition to the Megastar, the shipyard is busy with the finishing touches on the Mein Schiff 5 cruise ship commissioned by TUI Cruises, while assembling large segments for the ship Mein Schiff 6.

“With the transfer under Meyer’s, there’s now a sense of continuity at the shipyard. It feels good here now, everyone is positive about the future. This attitude is reflected in the entire industry around Finland. Just now, we received word that Meyer will be investing 17 million Euros in Piikkiö’s cabin factory,” Mylly was pleased to share.

Meyer Turku in figures

  • The area of the shipyard territory is 144 hectares, of which 14.5 ha is covered.
  • The steel capacity is approx. 45 000 tonnes/are
  • The size of the dry dock is 365 X 80 metres
  • Gantry crane lifting capacity 600 tonnes
  • Heavy transportation capacity 1 000 tonnes
  • Employees approx. 1 500

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