Royal IHC will lay off 251 people in the coming months due to a lack of new large shipbuilding and ship repair orders. In addition, the Dutch shipbuilder will temporarily close its yard in Krimpen aan den IJssel.
In November 2020, Royal IHC also announced a major restructuring which resulted in 300 jobs being cut in the Netherlands, 300 abroad and 500 among the contingent workforce. In addition, several activities and business units were divested, such as engineering companies Vuyk and KCI, IHC Hitech, and the company’s tunnelling business. Its participation in Rotterdam Offshore Group was also divested.
This restructuring came after the shipyard had to be rescued from bankruptcy by the government, banks and a group of companies with bridging loans and credit guarantees amounting to hundreds of millions of euros in April 2020.
New round of layoffs
An IHC spokesperson now tells local news site Alblasserdamnieuws.nl the yard in Krimpen aan den IJssel will remain ‘dormant’ until new orders come in. Over the coming weeks, it will be decided which jobs will be cut. It concerns 192 positions in the Netherlands and 59 abroad. The focus of the job cuts will be on support functions and management. After this round of lay-offs, IHC still employs about 1900 people.
An IHC spokesperson tells Dutch newspaper FD that the yard is in discussions about possible large orders, but nothing is concrete yet: ‘The construction of smaller ships and installations does continue. But the market for large custom-built vessels is hesitant. First we had to deal with the effects of the Covid crisis, now the war in Ukraine is depressing the market.’
The Dutch shipbuilder also has its hopes set on the new Dutch submarines to replace the Walrus class that it wants to build together with French Naval Group. However, as the Dutch Government announced this Friday, the winner of this multi-billion project will be announced no sooner than at the end of 2023. In addition to IHC, Swedish Saab-Kockums in a partnership with Damen Shipyards and German Thyssenkrupp also hope to win the contract.
Picture by M.M. Minderhoud.