• Özdemir Ataseven: We will deliver a ferry every 3 months

Özdemir Ataseven: We will deliver a ferr...

Özdemir Ataseven: We will deliver a ferry every 3 months

Mr. Özdemir Ataseven, the Chairman of Özata Shipyard, is aiming to deliver a passenger ferry every three months until 2017. He says, “Even our competitors in Europe do not have this building pace”.
Özata Shipyard is operating in Yalova Shipyards region on 55.000 m2 land. The shipyard established the most leading composite manufacturing factory of Europe in order to realize the project for 15 carbon catamarans it started building in 2013. Mr. Özdemir Ataseven, the Chairman of Özata Shipyard, is aiming to deliver a passenger ferry built in this factory and installed in special assembly hangars every three months until 2017.
 
The 6th ship is delivered at the project conducted with İzmir Metropolitan Municipality.  He says, “Even our competitors in Europe do not have this building pace”. Mr. Ataseven, also the vice president of Ship Industrialists Association, stated that GESAD broke new ground and established Ship Specialized Organized Industrial Zone in Yalova. 
 
Can you give information about Özata Shipyard? What type of vessels are you building mostly? What is your capacity and labor force?
Özata Shipyard is founded on 55.000 m2 land. Currently, we are building steel, aluminum, composite body vessels and yachts on an indoor area of 7000m2. Especially recently, we are focusing more on carbon composite manufacturing that I believe we will use widely in future ship constructions. We think this product segment will have an important share in the future of our shipyard. In order to realize 15 carbon catamarans project that we started building in 2013, we made proper infrastructure investments and we are proud to say that we have established the most leading composite manufacturing factory of Europe. We will deliver a passenger ship built in our factory and installed in special assembly hangars every three months until 2017. Even our competitors in Europe do not have this building pace. Currently, 250 people are working in our company.  Depending on the density of the project, we can have up to 800 people working for us.
What are the projects you are running as Özata Shipyard? What can you tell us about the passenger ferry you are building for İzmir

Municipality? What about the passenger ferry of Istanbul Municipality that will go out tender?
15 carbon composite catamaran passenger ferries being built for İzmir Municipality by Özata Shipyard is one of the most important projects of ours.
 
The specialty of this project is the hull of the passenger ferries. The hull material was generally being used in the construction of the yachts. If we have to mention about the technical specifications of the project, we can say that the carbon catamaran passenger ferries have 18 knot speed and two of them will have 30 knot service speed and each will be equipped to serve for 426 passengers. Besides, they will be furnished with the systems to make them easy and comfortable for the disabled.
 
The hulls of three of the passenger ferries are continuing. Our ships are being delivered one by one. It will be delivered to İzmir Metropolitan Municipality within the agreed date.
 
Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality initiated a tender a short while ago. The passenger ferries in types of “double” and “lended” were announced for tender. As we were among the companies that bid for the lowest offer, the contract was awarded to us and we started building ferries for 700 people for Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.
 
It is said that construction of offshore platforms will mark the forthcoming years. What should be done to ensure that Turkey gets higher share from this sector?
Currently, we can see that there is an acceleration in using the resources all around the world.Especially, in the last decade, we are expecting an increase in the construction of offshore platforms, as well. In order for Turkey to get higher share from this sector, primarily, the references regarding these platforms should be formed in Turkey. In fact, we have already realized repair of such a project previously. Therefore, I believe Turkey can get higher share from this project after having a successful reference project in at least one of the shipyards in Turkey related with the construction of such platforms. 
 
How do you assess the general economic outlook of Turkey? While the crisis is being experienced in the Euro region, Turkey looks more positive. However, there seems to be some negative data, as well. What kind of developments are you expecting in economy in the forthcoming term?
I think, general economic situation in Turkey will move as closely related with the world economy. In recent years, the economic crisis suffered by the world affected Turkey at minimum level. Today, it is not possible to evaluate the economy of a country as independent from the other countries. Countries cannot help but are affected by the economic conditions of the countries especially where the trade volumes are high and the affects of the rates of the general financial situations. I believe we will feel positive impacts of the efforts of Turkey in the economic field; however, how much these efforts will be sufficient will depend on the general course of the events in the world. I think, unfortunately, the affects of the stress being experienced in the Middle East will be felt adversely.
 
Turkish Maritime Industry has been experiencing difficult times since 2008. How do you assess the general condition of the industry?
Maritime industry of our country was also affected by the global economic crisis of the world. The impacts of this industry is still being felt in the world and especially in Europe that can be accepted as the main region of the maritime industry. I do not think there will be great changes in the near future, but I am expecting a positive acceleration in 2014, compared to the previous term. 
 
How long, do you think, this crisis will continue? What are the steps to be taken by both the government and the ship owners to overcome the crisis? 
I also think that everybody, especially the entrepreneurs took their lessons from this crisis that lasted this long. We should not repeat the mistakes of the previous term in the forthcoming term. We are in an industry where it should be assessed together with the world. Everything that happens in the world affects the other this way or the other. Therefore, when we are planning our investments and while we are preparing our bids, we should consider the conjectures of the changing world. We should analyze our customers and needs of the market better. We should focus more on marketing. We should strive for making ourselves known. In order to cope with our competitors, we should realize special projects with high added value and should not just follow the technology but develop and sell the technology. What I am expecting from the government is that it should press the button for the projects especially for the public needs, without any delay, to be realized; increase the public tenders, as much as possible.These will ensure both keeping the market alive and meet the needs of the public companies with suitable costs during this crisis period. 
 
We see that institutionalization in the globalizing world and effective marketing methods in the global markets become more important. What can be done to promote Turkish maritime in the country and abroad?
There is a great breakthrough in shipyard industry regarding promotion.I see that while only one or two shipyards were participating in the fairs abroad, now they are participating in the worldwide marine fairs quite densely. This is a good step, but not sufficient by itself.The shipyard business should combat against them especially in marketing.If you do not improve your business in the field of marketing, it gets difficult for you to get a share from the market, because there are lots of competitors around.Therefore money does not grow on trees anymore, but on the very top of the high trees.We should prevent money from going other places. It is necessary to make marketing one of the main strategies of the company.However, marketing power, all alone, will be effective up to one point only because in shipyard business, the product quality is also expected to be high besides marketing. Marketing should be supported by the product quality and especially by customer satisfaction as a result of delivery conditions, quality and timing. Without them, just marketing will not be effective.
 
The fields and the capacity of the shipyards in Turkey are said to be small. What do you think about this?
Compared with the shipyards in the world, our shipyards might look smaller, but our area of specialization is not big vessels. We should care for what we are specialized at. As in all fields, we should expertise in one special field in maritime industry, as well. Our shipyards are not feasible for big vessels. We should go on building small tonnage vessels. 
 
What should be the expertise field of the shipyards in Turkey?
We, in Turkey, are building military vessels with the same quality, even with better quality than Europe. We are very good at building military vessels and the vessels up to 20,000 tonnage. 
 
Do you think there are enough numbers of design companies that are actively designing vessels?  
Design is a very important subject in shipbuilding and having a limited number of design companies is an important problem. Indeed, we have good design companies but their numbers are not sufficient. If you do not make design, shipbuilding cannot develop. Anybody can build a ship, but you have to produce a project first. Unfortunately, we have a limited number of R&D studies. We need financial power for this. Unfortunately, there is not much support for this, either. If the chambers and associations increase their support and studies a bit more, the numbers of design companies might also increase. Today, the vessel projects in Turkey are similar to each other. There are no R&D studies and nobody is producing unique projects. 
 
Do you think the shipbuilding sector is feeding the sub-industry? 
What we call sub industry in the shipbuilding sector is the main industry. The actual industry is the companies manufacturing the main machine room, pumps, navigation systems. And unfortunately, we are not present there. We purchase them from abroad and install them here. There are companies that manufacture products and they really produce well.However, the numbers they produce are not sufficient. Primarily, this problem should be solved. We, as GESAD, established Ship Specialized Organized Industrial Zone in Yalova about three years ago. This is a breakthrough in Turkey. We can develop our industry more powerful by forming partnerships with companies that are good at sub industry, like Korea. We are even planning to have the foreign companies to establish factories here.No ships are being built in Europe anymore. They are producing the products what we call sub industry.The ships are being built by countries like Turkey and China. 
 
You are also the vice president of Maritime Industry Association. What is in GESAD’s agenda?
GESAD is a member of European Maritime Industry Association. We are trying to develop projects and provide advantages for our members by making use of our relations here. We are holding meetings to strengthen the relations between the industry and universities. We also established Ship Specialized Organized Industrial Zone in Yalova. We are striving to develop this place. Organized Industrial Zone established in Yalova is a clustering project. We realized the first clustering project in Turkey.We went to Korea to tell about this project and they made a clustering project before we made ours. We are still struggling with the procedures. 
 
“The Biggest Passenger Vessels” built in the world. 
According to the building plan, construction of a new ferry will be completed and delivered every three months. The new ferries have the feature of being “The Biggest Passenger Vessels” constructed in the world that are produced with carbon composite material used in defense, aviation and space technology.
 
The ferries having 426-person capacity are 39 meter long and 11.6 meter wide, with a speed up to 32 knots. Besides, they will be furnished with the technology to make them easy and comfortable for use by the disabled.
 
Being constructed fully by carbon, the “vacuum infusion” technology used in the ferries is being used by quite a few numbers of countries and producers in the world. Holding the title of the biggest passenger ferries in its class, the carbon composite construction that forms the hull of the ferries is lightweight and durable with steel construction and consumes less fuel since the required engine power is less for navigating at the intended speed. Characterized as environmental ship with these features, ferries are built with the  passenger comfort in mind.