SMM Istanbul - Turnaround Drives Upturn
Aug 08, 2013

Turkey has ambitious goals as a shipbuilding nation. At SMM Istanbul, the international maritime conference and exhibition, representatives from across the industry will meet to set the stage for the future.

With 8400 kilometres of coastline, more than 150 seaports and a commercial fleet of roughly 900 cargo ships with a capacity of 10.5 million tonnes, Turkey is a shipping nation par excellence. Surrounded by the Aegean Sea in the West, the Mediterranean in the South and the Black Sea in the North, Turkey is the maritime hub between Europe, Asia and Africa, backed by a 600-year shipbuilding tradition.

Over the past decade the Turkish shipbuilding industry was able to establish a strong position in the global markets. However, that boom slowed somewhat during the last few years. A shaky global economy weakened the demand, prompting shipyards to direct their attention towards niche markets. Tugboats, research vessels, floating power stations: Requests for highly customised vessels and structures, often coming from public customers, have begun filling the order books of Turkish shipbuilders. “In Turkey the shipping industry is experiencing a turnaround. Many companies are repositioning and entering into new markets", says Murat Kiran, President of the Association of the Turkish Shipbuilding Industry, GISBIR (Türkiye Gemi Sanayicileri Birgli). Specialised vessels for oil and gas exploration or military projects are high on the agenda. So-called Power Barges are catching up, as well. These former cargo ships converted to floating power stations are laid alongside in ports to feed electricity into the local grid. Quite recently, the shipyard Sedef completed its first Energy Ship and delivered her to her owner, Karadeniz Energy Group. Two additional floating power stations are under construction. Furthermore, Turkey is Europe's largest builder of chemical tankers, and in the mega yacht business, the nation ranges fourth.

Capacities to be doubled
Nearly 90 shipyards are currently operating across the country. According to the German engineering industry association VDMA, Turkey currently places 13th among the global shipbuilding nations based on deliveries. GISBIR President Kiran forecasts a considerable economic upturn for 2014. The private-sector shipbuilding industry is capable of producing a total tonnage of about one million tdw per year. Over the next five years, the country wants to double its shipbuilding capacity to two million tdw. There are also plans to increase the maintenance and repair capacity from the current 14.6 million to 15 million tons.

At SMM Istanbul, the industry will gather to help the prospective upturn take shape. SMM Istanbul is one of the two international subsidiaries of SMM, the leading international maritime trade fair in Hamburg. 2014 marks the third return of the fair to Istanbul. Turkey's first and largest maritime event, held every even year, is a combined industry fair and conference. The two-day convention highlights the potential, opportunities and current trends of the maritime industry.

High-level experts
"Internationally renowned experts will speak about and discuss the future development of the Turkish shipbuilding industry as well as current topics of the maritime economy," says Bernd Aufderheide, Chairman of the Board of Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH. Participants will learn fascinating details about current programmes of the Turkish Navy and Coast Guard as well as opportunities and challenges for the supply industry. Conference attendees will hear about new industry trends. Manufacturers and users of marine technology will gather inspiring insights and find ideal conditions for networking.

Both the venue and schedule chosen for SMM Istanbul 2014 are new. For the first time, the convention will be hosted in the Asian section of the city, at the Pendik Green Park Hotel & Convention centre, which is located in the immediate vicinity of shipyards and other industrial sites – close to the customer. SMM Istanbul will be open on 26 and 27 February 2014. „The early date, seven months ahead of SMM Hamburg, provides opportunities to make contact in Turkey first, then follow up at SMM in Hamburg later," says Aufderheide.

For further information about SMM Istanbul 2014, the international maritime conference and exhibition, please go to

Esther Scholz
Ph.: +49 040 3569 2453
Fax: +49 040 3569 2449