The shipbuilding and naval repairs sector is comprised of industries involved with shipbuilding, transformation, naval repairs, “offshore” equipment and the ancillary industry. The ancillary industry has been gaining importance over time and its production is mainly directed towards shipyards, which are generally their main and sometimes sole client.
Shipbuilding is presently a synthesis industry wherein the shipyard first builds the hull and the basic structures, and then incorporates all other components supplied by the ancillary industry (up to 60% of the value of a vessel) until the whole vessel is completed.
An important characteristic of shipbuilding is the uniqueness of its projects, i.e., each vessel is normally a unique product and is different from any other in the market. This characteristic basically avoids series production of vessels.
Other typical characteristics are a) the high cost of vessels, which surpass the financial capacity of the shipyards, thus making financing a key element for competitiveness; b) the cyclic nature of its client portfolio affected by world economic oscillations; and c) the high technological level of not only the shipbuilding project as such but also of its building processes and components.
The small and medium shipyards that have managed to diversify during these years of transition have achieved expertise in building different types of vessels, which permits them to compete internationally. They therefore have reasonably good future prospects. The fact that large offshore companies and wind farming companies chose to be at Navalia proves that these sectors are the new market niches.