Meyer Werft Targets Cruise Ship Refurb Business

Alexander Hofling

Meyer Werft is entering the refurbishment business with the establishment of Meyer Re, backed up by the group’s array of cruise ship component suppliers and 1,300 engineers that have designed and produced newbuild after newbuild.

"We have all the knowledge, engineers and project managers,” said Alexander W. Höfling, head of Meyer Re, who said the company is adapting to the future market, where there may be less newbuildings, but continued refurbishment projects.

“We don’t have our own drydock, so we are looking to partner with existing repair shipyards, who are not our competitors but our partners,” Höfling said. “With our competencies, we are partnering and offering these services to the repair yards which will enable them to do the job even better.”      

The Meyer Group owns some 27 suppliers, Höfling said, which account for about one third of components supplied to a new cruise ship. Those companies are all now entering the refurb business through Meyer Re, including Meyer’s cabin manufacturing production lines.

That means an existing cruise line could place an order for hundreds or thousands of new cabins that would roll off an assembly line.

To start with, Meyer Re is targeting ships the company has built, although the services are open to any passenger vessel.

"We have all the knowledge (on our ships), digital twin data, 3D information and more … it’s 12 terabytes per ship,” Höfling said.

Among the trends, he continued, is the push toward sustainability.

“On the newbuilding (side) we are focused on future fuels, including LNG, methanol, fuel cells and others on the list,” he continued, pointing out these technologies could be on the table for refits in the future.

“There are some areas where (cruise ships) won’t be able to sail (due to emission rules). There is huge pressure on the industry to adapt and we have the engineers and knowledge to contribute to that,” Höfling said.

Energy optimization is another key focus area.

"We are offering cruise lines our energy optimization solutions, analyzing ships’ operational profiles with weather data, and we can make suggestions, including a new bulbous bulb or a ducktail,” he continued.

Artificial intelligence is a core part of that through the company’s Alfred arm. Perhaps named after Batman’s caretaker, Alfred is available to analyze and interpret the mountains of data flowing off a cruise ship.

"We have our own algorithms to further optimize energy consumption. It’s one thing to replace fuel with a future fuel, but its another thing to save energy now. You may not need a big fuel cell if you can reduce your hotel load.”

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