Cicek Builds On Its Achievements


The award – winning yard is not resting on its laurels as its plants to increase quality and productivity still further.

Cicek Shipyard is working hard on both the company’s and Turkey’s shipbuilding image. Its efforts seem to be paying off, since the Tuzla Baybased outfit won the shipyard of the year award at the 2008 Lloyd’ s List Turkish Shipping Awards.

The Ayse Naz Bayraktar, a 1,300 teu container ship launched in April, and part of an order for Turkey’s Bayraktar Shipping, took the Ship of the Year Award. In 2007, that prize went to another Cicek – built vessel, the tanker Puli.

Mehmet Berke Cicek, general manager of the company founded 30 years ago by his father Celal, is proud of sucih awards, but is conscious of what they mean.

“ More recognition also means more responsibility. We have to keep in mind the future by making careful investments and increasing quality and productivity together so that we can compete with Asian yards.”

Turkey has become specialised in building smaller chemical tankers and containerships, but China also builds these vessels “so the competition is tough.” Says Mr Cicek.

“Over the past eight years, heavy investment by Cicek in flexible automation has enabled us to improve quality and productivity levels, but we want to increase them further.

“We have also recently signed an agreement with a Scandinavian Inspection team to carry out independent third – party quality controls in the yard during ship construction.”

Productivity Leap

At Mr Cicek the elder’s former shipyard in the Golden Horn area of ─░stanbul, founded in the 1970s, one worker had a productivity level of 4 kg per hour. Following the move to Tuzla Bay in the 1980s, this level rose to 8 kg per hour before reaching 19 kg in 2004, while the company is targeting 25 kg this year. 
“Such figures are important, because productivity levels are used to judge the performance of a shipyard, not its size.” Says Mr Cicek.

To date, Cicek has delivered 41 ships and is constructing seven vessels including three 58,00 dwt supramaxes fort Bayraktar Shipping – the first ships of this size to be built in Turkey.

Desing Edge

The company has also recently constructed its own office for developing ship desings.

“This will be an advantage for us in coming years, and will distinguish us from other Turkish Yards,” says Mr Cicek.

“We will develop designs based on how we can be competitive according to our own Production criteria. The market will decide what vessel type and size we desing, but at the moment, bulk carriers, especially handymaxes, seem promising.”

In another bid to increase competitiveness, the company is also considering joint ventures, as a means to enter niche markets including LPG, LNG and cruiseships, or to build bigger vessels such as capesizes. 

Cicek’s panamax – size dry dock, currently tle only privately owned such dock in Turkey, is being expanded to accommodate suezmax – size repair business. The work is scheduled for completion by 2010.

“This will enable us to diversify into ship repairs if and when the market goes down, and will be another reflection of our flexibility to make quick and immediate changes.” says Mr Cicek. “In the past, the big fishes are the small. Now the fast fish eat everyone.”