Press Information

MHI Completes Modernization of Shimonoseki Shipyard
To Enhance Productivity in Medium-size Vessel Construction
-- 300-ton Suspension Capacity Jib Crane Installed at Enoura Plant --


Tokyo, July 6, 2011 - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has completed the modernization of the shipbuilding facility at the Enoura Plant of the company's Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan. To mark the completion of the last in a series of modernization initiatives at the shipyard, the installation of a 300-ton suspension capacity jib crane*, a ceremony took place today at the site. With completion of the modernization program, the Shimonoseki Shipyard will further boost productivity in the construction of high-value-added vessels, such as coastal-service ferries, RORO ships, high-speed boats and special-purpose vessels, the areas in which the Shimonoseki Shipyard already has a solid track record and primarily targets domestic customers, to further strengthen its cost competitiveness.

[300-ton jib crane]
The 300-ton jib crane and a 150-ton crane, which is also newly installed at the 186 meter (m)-long, 53m-width berth of the Enoura Plant replace four existing aged cranes. Last autumn the plant expanded its general assembly work area beside the berth utilizing an adjoining vacant lot, a reclaimed site which was originally dock No.1. By shifting some of the assembly works being conducted at the berth, which require setup on a high place, to assembly at a fully-equipped ground level site, enhancement of work efficiency has been achieved. Now, in boosting capacity to transfer building blocks and components of ships through installation of a new crane, efficiency in large-component assembly work, which is conducted prior to vessel erection in the berth, has also been improved. By modernization and various work efficiency improvements, the shipyard targets to improve productivity by 15%.

The Shimonoseki Shipyard primarily targets the market for coastal-service vessels of Japanese customers and governmental-organization-use vessels and mainly competes with Japanese shipyards constructing medium-size vessels. Through a series of modernization and various ongoing improvement activities, the shipyard will establish a structure to win orders, leveraging MHI's comprehensive technological expertise, even in a severe business environment.

The modernization program at the shipyard began in October 2007 with the launch of a new processing and assembly shop for high-speed aluminum ships at the Enoura Plant. With completion of the new wing, the shipyard has improved the productivity and expanded construction capacity of aluminum ships, such as patrol vessels and fisheries patrol boats. In October 2010 the shipyard completed a blast/painting shop equipped with air-conditioning, dust control and component block transfer systems, along with an expanded general assembly area, at the former No.1 dock site. The new blast/painting shop complies with the new rules for ballast tank coating set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and achieves a structure for performing all the work involving painting, including paint surface preparation, of ships' ballast water tanks in a secure and stabilized environment.

In its 2010 Medium-Term Business Plan for the five years beginning fiscal 2010, MHI has set down a new business strategy for its Shipbuilding and Ocean Development segment. The new strategy includes measures targeting earnings acceleration, cost structure reforms, and entry into large-scale projects and new business fields.

Following the completion of its shipyard modernization program, going forward, the Shimonoseki Shipyard will pursue even greater efficiency in its operating structure. The shipyard will further strengthen its competitiveness in coastal-service and special-purpose vessels, areas in which the company already has a solid track record, and focus more on vessels incorporating new high added value such as environmental friendliness.

Note: A jib crane is a type of crane that has a horizontal boom (jib) to hoist and suspend goods.

About MHI Group

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group is one of the world’s leading industrial groups, spanning energy, smart infrastructure, industrial machinery, aerospace and defense. MHI Group combines cutting-edge technology with deep experience to deliver innovative, integrated solutions that help to realize a carbon neutral world, improve the quality of life and ensure a safer world. For more information, please visit or follow our insights and stories on