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Fassmer Shipyard

Harald Fassmer
Harald Fassmer, owner and Joint Managing Director of Fassmer.

Fassmer and Imtech Marine Germany’s strategic partnership continues to be fruitful. Recently the two have teamed up for the construction of the Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) 80, which is one of Fassmer’s most successful designs, with strong demand worldwide.

An OPV 80, where Imtech Marine was the electronics supplier, was recently delivered to the Colombian Navy and already a second vessel is underway. Work is expected to take around 18 to 20 months. Meanwhile, Chile has its third OPV under construction, for which Imtech Marine provided the basic electrical engineering.

Both countries are building the vessels at local yards and are expected to grow their OPV Fassmer fleets to at least five. The Colombian OPV is based on Fassmer’s design and the German shipyard also provided the material package. Imtech Marine was responsible for the entire electrical and electronics package, including the design and delivery of all the components, technical assistance and the testing.

On schedule and in budget

Harald Fassmer, owner and Joint Managing Director of the group, says: “The first Colombian OPV vessel is now sailing successfully. It was delivered on time even though it was a tight schedule and in budget. Both Fassmer and Imtech Marine have helped provide technical assistance, supervision and training at the yard Cotecmar in Cartagena, Columbia.”

Mr Fassmer also hopes that this very successful OPV can be built in Germany. Although negotiations are ongoing he cannot reveal details at this stage.

“We enjoy a great partnership with Imtech Marine, they are very reliable and provide a very good service and our customers appreciate this.”

Cooperation during design phase

Fassmer and Imtech Marine always cooperate at a very early stage in the project to ensure its success, he adds, including during the design stage and then right through to the commissioning. “Having Imtech Marine as a partner means we can benefit from their experience and bring this into our quotations. Having highly technical quotations is very important when talking about these special-purpose, tailor-made vessels.”

Another interesting project where the two are working very closely together is the latest 41 m survey and research ship for Fugro. Imtech Marine is supplying the design for the complex electronics system on the vessel, including the navigation, communication and control systems. Imtech delivers the components, materials and carries out the installation and testing. This vessel is due for delivery in August 2013. The systems integration is vitally important on these complex ships, says Mr Fassmer.

Imtech Marine and Fassmer have already worked on the 65 m, survey vessels Fugro Searcher and Fugro Galaxy. Imtech Marine Germany was engaged as the electrical system integrator on these two vessels and delivered the power generation, distribution and electrical propulsion systems. They also carried out the complete engineering, delivery, supervision and commissioning of the GMDSS communication and navigation equipment and the systems for safety, security, internal communications.

The alarm and monitoring, power management and Dynamic Positioning systems and the lightning equipment, consoles and cable installation were also part of the scope.

The partners have also worked on three 45 m buoy layers for the German government. One has been delivered and the second is due this year and the third vessel in the spring 2013. In the past, Fassmer and Imtech Marine have worked on a variety of vessels including the 48 m “Hanse Explorer” training yacht, and a 76 m RoPax ferry “Aline Sitoe Diatta” for Senegal. The partners also built the pioneering Greenpeace vessel, the Rainbow Warrior III.

LNG ferries

As well as this they are working on the design of LNG fuelled ferries in light of new regulations being introduced in 2015. “This is a very interesting area and there are many discussions going on with potential customers.” These vessels are particularly suited for environmentally sensitive areas.

In addition concepts for vessels to support the offshore wind industry are underway, including crew transfer vessels and a 68 m work/accommodation vessel. “With the German wind farms going far offshore it is crucial that these vessels have very good seakeeping abilities and we think this is an interesting area for the future,” he stresses.

Design vital

Fassmer places a great deal of emphasis on design and unlike many other yards that have outsourced, they continued to have their own Design Department. Fassmer employs 80 naval architects.

Mr Fassmer adds that currently the market is challenging but demand for research vessels is healthy on the back of the offshore market. Even given the difficult operating conditions Mr Fassmer is confident that the shipyard’s focus on niche markets and special purpose vessels, as well as its diversified portfolio, will see it remain on track.

Located on the River Weser in Berne/Motzen, Germany, and established in 1850, Fassmer is a family owned company, which is active in shipbuilding – often very special vessels – lifeboat construction, deck equipment, wind power and composite technology.
Fassmer group is headed by two brothers, Harald and Holger and they represent the fifth generation of the Fassmer family. Fassmer employs around 900 people and has workshops in Germany, Poland and China.

Axel Rothe, General Manager of Imtech Marine Germany summarises: "The close relationship between Fassmer and Imtech Marine Germany is characterised by trust and reliability. We all know very well that during the construction phase problems emerge but as soon as any disturbance occurs, both parties don’t loose time by blaming each other but search for the best solution. This is a satisfying way of working leading to the best results.”