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Japanese shipbuilders look abroad for marine equipment

JAPAN’s Mitsubiushi Heavy industries is set to source more marine equipment for its newbuildings from overseas suppliers. In the face of a dire shipbuilding market and the relative strength of the domestic currency, MHI said it would capitalise on the yen’s appreciation as part of its cost-cutting aims introduced under the recently established “Challenge 2009” management programme. The chief beneficiaries of the initiative are likely to be South Korean machinery manufacturers who the company considers to have quality standards either close or the same as those set by Japanese manufacturers. Additional cost benefits could also be achieved because the strength of the Korean won is close to a 10-year low. MHI intends to renegotiate marine equipment prices on extant contracts based on current exchange rates and the reduction in rolled-steel prices.

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