-- FROM THE FULL PICTURE MAGAZINE --
The Kongsberg Maritime Poland team outside their office in Szczecin, Poland.
Kongsberg Maritime Poland provides one of the most reliable and skilled ship repair
and customer support services in the Polish market. We talked about the business
with board member Wojciech Kowalczyk.
Over fifteen years, Poland migrated from the Eastern Bloc to full EU membership;
in the same period, its shipping industry has known the best of times and the worst
Kongsberg Maritime is excited at the opportunities in the country, which is why
it joined forces with them back in 2007. This Polish partner started up in
2004 and in a short time became known as a leader in support services for the maritime
sector. Based on this alliance, Kongsberg Maritime Poland was born, opening its new,
fully-fledged customer support centre in Szczecin in mid-2007.
"90 per cent of our business comes through KONGSBERG," explains Wojciech Kowalczyk,
the company's Business Support Manager and Board Member. "Our partnership with KONGSBERG
has been an important driver of our business at a time when domestic activity has
been slowing dramatically. Their market knowledge helped us and shielded the company
from the worst of the downturn.
"We're based in Szczecin, in one of the biggest shipbuilding areas in the country.
In the mid-1990s, it was one of the leaders in the world in terms of output, especially
in the container carriers segment. Kongsberg Maritime Poland provides services to the
complete range of vessels and offshore installations, though there is a particular
demand from drilling equipment, cable layers, oil rigs, tankers, bulk and LNG carriers."
Kowalczyk is confident that the Polish maritime industry will prosper once again,
as long as yard assets are acquired by investors with experience and dedication.
"We have a great heritage here in shipbuilding and a large talent pool. We have
been able to build an exceptional team of engineering and customer support personnel."
"Great experiences with Shipmedics led us to invest in the company," says Håvard
Moe, Vice President - Integrated Control Systems, Kongsberg Maritime. "Greater local
value creation was also important. Now we use good qualified employees from Kongsberg Maritime Poland
heavily on several Full Picture projects, including naval vessels for the Polish
Navy at Gryphia yard in Szczecin and the shuttle tanker Navion Europa at Remontowa
yard in Gdansk."
Kowalczyk concludes: "Though conditions have been challenging, I am confident
of progress in the coming years. Our operation here is fit for growth - both domestically
and in support of KONGSBERG's global business."