The corona crisis changes the way shipyards operate and will impact delivery deadlines, according to Royal Niestern Sander. ‘The projects continue, but we are working on a ship with far fewer people at the same time,’ says HSEQ Manager at the shipyard Eddie Stam. ‘Add to that the fact that parts are delivered later and delays are inevitable.’

‘We took strict measures at an early stage, using the advice of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM),’ adds Stam (picture to the right). ‘Based on the number of square metres, we have determined how many people are allowed to work in a room at the same time. We issue permits based on this number. No permit? No access.’

Other measures taken by the yard include taking breaks in smaller groups, creating space between the chairs in the canteen and introducing a fixed walking direction.

‘We have hired an external auditor to monitor whether everyone complies with the procedures, whether the employees keep a distance of 1.5 metres from each other, for example,’ explains Stam. The fact remains that because the number of people working on a ship at the same time has been reduced significantly, the building of a ship takes longer.

Waiting for parts

According to Stam, the shipyard also suffers from delays in the delivery of parts. This may further add to the delays in deliveries. Stam’s colleague, Production Manager Jules Blokhuis, told local Dutch news website RTV Noord the company is waiting for among other things an LNG tank that is to come from China.

Niestern Sander is converting ferry Münsterland for shipping company AG Ems to LNG propulsion. Blokhuis: ‘The tank is a crucial part of the whole renovation. It can still take weeks until the part is there.’