Mariner company rides rising tide in shipbuilding

08:41, January 28, 2011      

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Mariner Ship's Equipment President Birol Alpay and Leng Xiangsheng, general manager of Jiangsu Weihe Marine Equipment formalize a technology transfer agreement in China in 2009. Provided to China Daily

One of the world's best-known companies in its industry, Istanbul-based Mariner Ship's Equipment Turkey has staked its future on China - the family-owned company's largest market and customer.

"I visited China for the first time 15 years ago and it was clear to me that we had to be present there to remain a major player," recalled President Birol Alpay. "I was confident that we would grow in parallel with the Chinese shipping industry and it has been the right decision."

"When my father first started working with the Chinese, their shipbuilding industry was just picking up. We witnessed the rise of China's shipbuilding industry to what it has become today. It is now the world's No. 1 player in terms of production, ahead of Korea and Japan," added Board Member and Assistant General Manager Bilge Alpay.

Aside from standardized equipment, Mariner specializes in designing customized products for its clients, which include several of the world's biggest and most influential shipping companies.

Its products cover a complete range of on-board deck machinery and equipment, such as hatch covers, ro-ro equipment, rudders and steering gears, every kind of deck winch and provision cranes.

After opening a representative office in Shanghai in 1999, Mariner built a factory in Yangzhong, Jiangsu province, in 2005 in partnership with German ship crane maker Neuenfelder Maschinenfabrik.

"It's a big factory that employs 400 Chinese workers, as well as German and Turkish engineers and managers. We invested a total of $20 million, while the local government granted us five-year tax incentives and free land-use, among other policies," said Alpay.

Mariner has since expanded operations to all of China's shipping centers, primarily along the Yangtze River, the country's longest river where hundreds of shipyards are located.

"For the type of ships we supply parts to, our main market is China. As a design company, it's not pret-a-porter (off the shelf). It's mostly couture (custom designed)," Alpay said.

To further increase its business in the country, Mariner has also licensed its products.

"Many Chinese companies like our designs. We are looking at ways to reinforce our cooperation and provide our know-how and help Chinese companies produce and sell some of our equipment through license agreements," he added.

Mariner also continues to expand its global presence and is currently establishing a new operation in South Korea, another of the world's shipbuilding giants.

Source: China Daily
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