|Rig builder CIMC Raffles is banking on winning more global orders to move up the value chain. Provided to China Daily|
But a lack of management skills is hampering progress
Not a single barrel of oil has been discovered in the deep waters off the coastline of Singapore, but the small country has managed to gain a leading position in rig building with more contracts than any other shipyard in the world.
However, boosted by newly acquired expertise, lower production costs and Beijing's strong desire to secure more offshore oil to better develop its marine economy, aspiring Chinese rig builders are gearing up to fight for more market share and seek to take the crown from offshore oil rig manufacturers in Singapore.
CIMC Raffles in Yantai, Shandong province, is one of them. Though it is relatively new to the sector, the offshore drilling rig builder, a subsidiary of China International Marine Containers (Group) Co in Shenzhen, has already learned a lot and expects to be making money in the next few years, the company says.
CIMC started to acquire stakes in Yantai Raffles Shipyard Ptd Ltd, a joint venture between the local government and a group of Singapore investors, in 2008 and later renamed the company CIMC Raffles. It now has almost total control.
"It has cost us a lot to learn over the past several years, but we've progressed rapidly," says Gao Shang, director of CIMC's offshore division.
"The company hopes to become a world leader and to move the axis of global offshore rig building from Singapore to China," Gao says.
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