Germany’s Meyer Group continues its efforts to diversify its shipbuilding operations into new sectors. Following the model of other shipyards, particularly those in Asia with marine energy businesses, the company’s Neptun Werft in Rostock, eastern Germany, is launching a new business partnership targeting the marine energy sector.
Neptun Werft works with the Belgian company Smulders, a subsidiary of Eiffage, a pioneer in the offshore wind energy sector more than 20 years ago. Smulders provides design, manufacture, delivery and assembly of steel structures, developing a business in transformer platforms. Smulders operates in six locations, including Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK and Poland.
Smulders and Neptun Werft are creating two companies, Neptun Smulders Offshore Renewables and Neptun Smulders Engineering, which will design and manufacture offshore converter platforms. In the future, Meyer says he wants to expand the business to target other elements, such as efforts to convert excess energy from wind farms into hydrogen or other electronic fuels. They note that they can also build tankers and other elements used to support emerging applications for offshore renewable energy. They expect to create 100 jobs initially.
Companies point to a strong need in Germany’s offshore energy sector. To meet the German government’s ambitious goals for marine, renewable energy, they emphasize the need to expand capacity and develop new technologies. They report that the industry will require 2 GW of power and high-voltage direct current transmission technology.
Neptun Werft seeks to exploit construction opportunities for the marine energy sector, starting with converter platforms (Neptun Werf).
“We are combining Meyer Group’s experience in large-scale complex shipbuilding with Smulders’ offshore experience,” says Jan Meyer, the group’s CEO of Business Innovation, who is responsible for developing new businesses around the Neptun Werft shipyard, including the new offshore wind business. . “Together we are creating the necessary strategic manufacturing capacities to produce the converter platforms required for the energy transition in Germany. We will be a concrete example of how the green transition creates jobs in Germany.”
The Meyer Group is exploring how to apply its capabilities to new segments after the pandemic cut orders for new cruise ships, a key business for the company’s yards in Rostock and Papenburg in Germany and Turku in Finland. Meyer maintained orders from cruise lines and added one new order from NYK, while exploring new areas of business.
The Neptune Yard dates back to 1850, and after being a construction site in the former East Germany, it became a repair yard after German reunification. Meyer Werft acquired the yard in 1997, and it developed custom construction for river cruise ships and engine room modules for large, ocean cruise ships built in Papenburg and Turku.
Neptune is doing new things as it continues its efforts with river cruise ships and modules. They are involved in a collaboration with the NVL Group, together with Fassmer, to build two new supply ships for the German Navy and a new German research vessel. In early 2023, Neptun Werft also announced a contract with Viking to build a river cruise ship that will have hybrid propulsion with batteries and a photovoltaic system on the upper deck to improve energy efficiency. The river cruise ship is due for delivery in 2025 and will operate on the Seine River in France.