Government aids shipyards

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Norwegian shipyards, most of them specializing in the offshore industry, are facing an acute order shortage. The government forked over promises of more financial aid late last week.

“Fully 17 of 29 shipyards in Norway will be without orders in just a few months,” said Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, who fears the yards will need to start laying off workers.

Stoltenberg has been proud of the relatively low unemployment rate in Norway, and of how Norway has tackled the global finance crisis. Now, though, the crisis seems to be catching up with the shipyards because of the slowdown in offshore oil and gas activity and lack of new vessel orders.

Stoltenberg’s left-center coalition government boosted loan guaranties for the yard industry by NOK 10 billion. More money will be made available for research and development and for support of small- and medium-sized yards.

The politicians noted that several local communities along Norway’s coast depend on the local shipyard for jobs, while noting that they may be able to diversify into renewable energy projects.

Views and News staff