With a name that represents first-class quality work, experienced workers and an absolute respect for deadlines, Rüdiger Pallentin, managing director, Lloyd Werft, talks to World Cruise Industry Review about why its shipyard is a preferred partner for repairs, conversions, modernisation and the completion of ships of every kind, in record time.

Can you give us a brief overview of cruise sector spending in shipyards at the moment? As the recovery continues, is spending increasing? Is there more of a focus on retrofits than new builds?

Rüdiger Pallentin: The spending on new builds is naturally much higher compared with conversions, due to the size of the vessels. The number of vessel conversions remains the same, as does the amount of money the cruise companies are spending.

What other key trends within the cruise industry are impacting the way you operate as a shipyard?

With regard to environmental issues, the installation of exhaust gas scrubbers is coming more to the forefront. Ballast water treatment is also an issue but, due to the lower amount of ballast water to be treated, compared with a cargo vessel, it is not as big an issue.

Improvement of the underwater lines by optimising the form of the bulbous bow can save fuel. However, further developments, like solar panels, are still predominantly in the discussion phase, rather than being implemented. Health, safety, security and environment (HSSE) is kept at a high level on both sides – yard and crew.

Have there been any interesting developments in your shipbuilding techniques, facilities or technologies during the last year?

Our techniques, facilities and technologies are all up to date. HSSE is up to date as well. In order to maintain and improve these levels, we are now officially certified by DNV GL to ISO 18001 standards.

What do you think separates Lloyd Werft from other shipyards?

Our reputation as an experienced and project-orientated shipyard that can carry out complex conversions and dockings in a short time is still our best reference. Our experience in other conversion sectors – ferries and offshore for example – combined with a certified HSSE working environment, help us in solving tasks in passenger ship work.

Do you have any interesting new projects in the pipeline?

We always have interesting projects in the pipeline. We signed an order with V Ships Miami for the regular docking of the 24,300GT passenger ship Explorer, built in 2001, as the Olympia Explorer.

For the second half of 2014, there are several other passenger projects in the pipeline. Lloyd Werft will be busy over 2014 with the conversion of two OSVs into special offshore vessels, and the new build of a 190m pipe-laying vessel.