Taiwan Shipbuilding Industry in Kaohsiung: Driving Prosperity in the Asia's New Bay Area／台灣造船產業在高雄 共創亞洲新灣區榮景
Taiwan Shipbuilding Industry in Kaohsiung:
Driving Prosperity in the Asia's New Bay Area
◎English translation: Tan You-yi
◎Photo by Pao Chung-hui
Kaohsiung is the center of Taiwan's shipbuilding industry. Now in its 43rd year of operation, CSBC Corporation, Taiwan (CSBC) is the largest in the region. CSBC was once ranked fourth largest worldwide. Although its competitors in China and South Korea excel in mechanical standardization and mass production, CSBC has shifted its focus to more customized designs and further developing its R&D and innovative products. The company has now become renowned for its high end detail and excellent quality. Every part of its construction processes are carried out with great care.
CSBC takes special pride in its semi-submersible heavy lift. Vessels are designed for 23 meter waters, therefore making them perfect for oil transportation to offshore rigs. During the Persian Gulf War, the U.S. Navy mobilized these types of ships to assist destroyer USS Cole which had been damaged in an attack by suicide bombers in Aden port, Yemen. The destroyer, along with its sister motor vessels, the Blue Marlin and Black Marlin, were moved back to the United States. As featured in both Discovery and National Geographic Channel documentaries, the mission also transported marine engineering equipment and the U.S. Navy's Sea-Based X-Band Radar. The Blue and Black Marlins motor vessels were both built in Taiwan.
Maersk Alabama is a commercial vessel which was also built in Taiwan. It too became world famous during the 2009, hijacking by Somali pirates, while transporting aid to Kenya. The incident was later made into a Hollywood film entitled 'Captain Phillips.'
CSBC also continues to develop green energy initiatives and is always working to expand its opportunities. Nine out of twenty of the world's offshore wind farms are located in Taiwanese waters, which have produced greater opportunities for CSBC. It is Taiwan's only company that has its own state-of-the-art heavy loading and unloading pier. The company has also established a reputation for being a high quality manufacturer and vendor of wind turbine components. CSBC is the first company in Taiwan to have developed offshore meteorological masts. In 2015, CSBC's TEU Seaway Optimization Design and Operation Series made the cover of the Royal Institution of Naval Architect's publication 'Significant Ships.'
With the continuous development of Kaohsiung's ship building industry, CSBC has invested in greater HR development and collaboration projects with schools such as The Fortune Institute of Technology, National Kaohsiung Marine University and National Kaohsiung University of Applied Science. After completing an apprenticeship, students have the opportunity to work full-time for the company. It is also developing a variety of community development programs, and encourages charity work, public service and other corporate social responsibility initiatives.
Kaohsiung City Government's Asia's New Bay Area continues to develop nicely. Wang, Hai-taw, Executive Vice President of CSBC, hopes Kaohsiung will gain greater international recognition with its new Kaohsiung Exhibition Center, Kaohsiung Music Center, Kaohsiung Main Public Library, Kaohsiung Port Terminal and other new landmarks. These developments will not only enhance Kaohsiung's maritime image, but also give a huge boost to exhibitions, tourism, culture and other innovative industries. In 2016, CSBC will participate in Kaohsiung's International Maritime and Defense Technology Exhibition at Kaohsiung Exhibition Center. CSBC's long-term vision is to continue to locally develop middle and downstream shipbuilding industries and form a supply chain platform that will help create a more prosperous Asia's New Bay Area.