Miami-based cruise line operator Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Meyer Turku shipyard signed a memorandum of agreement for two next generation cruise ship orders to be delivered in 2022 and 2024. The around 200,000 gross ton large cruise ships under the project name “Icon” will mark the beginning of a new generation of LNG powered cruise ships with a number of innovations such as an application of fuel cells for power generation. Fuel cells are a very energy efficient and clean way to generate electrical energy.
“With Icon class, we begin the journey to take the smoke out of our smokestacks", said Richard Fain, chairman and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd.
“Our partnership with RCL has created a number of groundbreaking ships such as Oasis, Celebrity Solstice, Quantum and Mein Schiff. We are grateful that Royal Caribbean engages with us in a new challenging journey to advance the state of maritime technology with a new class of cruise ships. Our common aim is to develop fuel cells to a level that allows their usage in a significant application to power the ship's hotel functions.”, outlines Jan Meyer, CEO of Meyer Turku Oy.
Today’s technology and the regulations are not yet ready for maritime fuel cell use. Therefore various pilot installations on other Meyer-built RCL ships will be the stepping stones on the way to a fuel cell installation on Icon.
Meyer Turku to go above its all-time-high output with a smooth ramp-up and long order book reaching to 2024
With the new orders, Meyer Turku shipyard will increase its output until 2024 substantially beyond Turku yard’s all-time-high work load during Oasis/Allure times in 2007 – 2009. These new orders further lengthen the order book until 2024 and thus provide an unprecedented level of stability and allow for a smooth production ramp-up. The eight year long horizon creates a unique opportunity for Turku shipyard and the entire Finnish maritime cluster to invest and develop their capabilities with a long-term strategy and achieve new leaps in technology.
“This historically long and high-load order book enables us to modernize Turku ship yard into a modern data-driven ship factory and grow it to a new level 50% above the all-time-high. With our investments of more than 75m€, we are investing more in Finland than any other company in our industry. Both the new ship orders as well as our investments will provide a lot of good work for many other Finnish companies and for our own growing team”, highlights Jan Meyer, CEO of Meyer Turku.
Meyer Turku has so far announced 75m€ of investments in Turku yard and further investments are on the drawing board. In addition to the machinery and IT systems of the yard, the family owned company is also investing heavily in people and is on a good way to increase the number of employees from around 1300 in 2014 to 1800 in the future. The total employment effect including the many specialized subcontractors is estimated to be larger than 15,000.
“This is a very interesting time for the shipyard’s specialists – as we are recreating the way we work and advancing our product technology. I’m very proud of the level of competence of our Finnish team and we are further strengthening our team with more skilled personnel from many different fields of expertise”, Jan Meyer concludes.
Meyer Turku Oy employs 1,500 persons and specializes in building highly complex, innovative and environmentally friendly cruise ships, car-passenger ferries and special vessels. Together with two sister shipyards in Germany, Meyer Werft in Papenburg and Neptun Werft in Rostock, Meyer Turku is one of the world’s leading cruise ship builders. The successful shipbuilding tradition in Turku has been continuing since 1737. The company is currently building cruise ships for TUI Cruises and a fast ferry for Tallink. The company will also build two cruise ships for Costa Crociere.
The design and construction of the ships are supported by the subsidiaries of Meyer Turku: Piikkio Works Oy, which is a Cabin Factory in Piikkiö, Shipbuilding Completion Oy, which provides turnkey solutions to public spaces in ships, and ENG´nD Oy, which is an engineering company offering services for shipbuilding and offshore.