In this interview TAIS General Manager Doğan BEŞCAN discusses the company’s focus on provide new business opportunities for Turkey and the Turkish military shipbuilding sector by using the capabilities and joint forces of partners
Defence Turkey: TAIS (Turkish Associated International Shipyards) Consortium was formed three years ago by 5 private sector shipyards (Anadolu Shipyard, Istanbul Shipyard, Sedef Shipyard, Sefine Shipyard and Selah Shipyard) holding a production license as well as the necessary knowhow and experience in the defence industry. Could you please inform us on the founding purpose, the needs which led to this formation and the current organizational structure after Istanbul Shipyard and Selah Shipyard left the Consortium?
Doğan BEŞCAN: TAIS Shipbuilding and Technology Inc. was established in 2017 by 5 shareholders with equal shares. Anadolu Shipyard, Sedef Shipyard and Sefine Shipyard have been continuing with equal shares after the transfer of shares by two founding partners in June 2019.
Defence Turkey: Could you tell us about the number of personnel (workers, technicians) working at TAIS Shipbuilding and Technology Inc. and the current shipbuilding capabilities (outdoor and indoor area size, number and capacity of dry and semi-wet dry docks, number and capacity of cranes and annual steel processing capacity etc.)?
Doğan BEŞCAN: The total number of personnel within TAIS Shipbuilding and Technology Inc. is 8,000 including those working under the subcontractors and nearly 1,000 of which are engineers, technicians and retired naval officers. Total production area of the shipyards: 415,659 m2 3 Semi-Wet Dry Docks (285m x 47m- 40,000 TLC; 140m x 38,4m – 7,000 TLC; 105m x 28,5m – 4,000 TLC) 2 Dry Docks (310m x 50m; 240m x 42m x 9m) Annual Steel processing Capacity: 200,000-250,000 tons. Defence Turkey: Could you please inform us on the product range of TAIS Shipbuilding and Technology Inc., and military ship sales as well as any associated project activities? Doğan BEŞCAN: TAIS offers nearly 50 types of military ships to its customers. Some of these ships were already sold primarily to our Naval Forces and allied countries.
Defence Turkey: Could you explain your plans regarding the potential for a future capacity increase or additional capacity acquisition?
Doğan BEŞCAN: Our partners are the leading shipyards of our country in terms of manufacturing capacity and production capability. Our priority plan for the future is to achieve a wide range of products that can meet most of the military ship needs of any country.
Defence Turkey: As a private company established with the partnership of private sector shipyards having different product ranges and experiences, what would you like to say about the scope of activities of TAIS Shipbuilding and Technology Co., its targets in the domestic market and business model?
Doğan BEŞCAN: TAIS is a company established to develop business in foreign markets by using the facilities and capabilities of its partners. We attend fairs abroad related to military ships, make presentations to naval forces of various countries, prepare proposals and participate in tenders.
Defence Turkey: You have been following military shipbuilding projects in Azerbaijan, Turkic Republics and other countries. Could you inform our readers on your ongoing export activities and overseas targets as well as the ongoing projects and the contracts of which are expected to be signed in the near future?
Doğan BEŞCAN: We have projects expected to be finalized in the near future in total 6 countries such as Southeast Asia, North Africa, West Africa, and the Middle East. We are also closely following 12 countries.
Defence Turkey: Last May, you became the successful bidder with your local partner in the international tender for the construction of 5 45,000-ton Fleet Support Tankers for the Indian Naval Forces. What would you like to say about the experiences you encountered during the international tender process, the current status in the contract negotiations and the technical features of the Fleet Support Tanker that is planned to be delivered to the Navy in 9 years?
Doğan BEŞCAN: The ships, the contract negotiations of which are ongoing, will be 200 meters in length and capable of replenishing fuel, water and food at sea. They will be amongst the largest ones in their class in the world.
Defence Turkey: According to the the press, ADİK Shipyard, one of the founding partners of TAIS, will sign the contract of the tender as a pilot shipyard. Within the scope of the project, the total value is estimated to be US$ 2.3 Billion and is it scheduled to be completed in 9 years. A certain number of Turkish personnel are planned to be employed in India. What could you tell us about the targeted domestic participation rate (Turkey) in the project, task sharing between TAIS and the local partner Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) and the volume of the export revenue that Turkey will gain?
Doğan BEŞCAN: We will be responsible for the design, main machinery, auxiliary machinery, power transmission equipment, supply of replenishment systems, preparation of specifications and general engineering services. The project will be one of the most important defence industry projects of our country in terms of added value.
Defence Turkey: TAIS Shipbuilding and Technology Inc. is one of the two companies that submitted bids to the SSB within the scope of the I-Class Frigate Project of the Turkish Naval Forces Command. What is the latest status in the project? The construction of the first ship was started in January 2017 at the Istanbul Shipyard Command, while the responsibility for the construction of sister ships would be given to the private sector shipyard to be designated by the SSB. However, no news on the selection of the shipyard has been reported to the press so far.
Doğan BEŞCAN: We have not received any news yet.
Defence Turkey: A fire broke out last April in the TCG ANADOLU Multi-Purpose Amphibious Assault Ship (LHD), which is under construction at the SEDEF Shipyard and which is planned to be delivered within the last quarter of 2020. According to the information we have obtained, the fire broke out due to the ignition of ropes and insulation materials in the stowage under the ramp while welding. As a result of the fire which lasted for nearly 2 hours, no damage occurred on the capstans and beckets, but some deformations occurred due to high-temperature under the ramp and deck sections. Could you inform us about the activities carried out so far to eliminate the deformation/damage after the fire and whether these activities will lead to a shift on the planned delivery date?
Doğan BEŞCAN: Minor damages were remedied in a short time. The construction of the ship continues according to the schedule.
Defence Turkey: Could you please tell us about the domestic military shipbuilding projects you are currently following as TAIS?
Doğan BEŞCAN: TAIS was established with the mission of following overseas projects. Our partners are following the domestic projects.
Defence Turkey: Governing projects to lead the shipbuilding business by the Government / SSB / MoND will further strengthen the private shipyards and the military shipbuilding sector. In this context, what are your expectations from the government as TAIS?
Doğan BEŞCAN: The ability to build military ships emerges through years of effort and large team investments. The sustainability of this ability is possible only through the availability of continuous work by specially trained and competent teams. Failure of the continuity of projects may lead to the loss of such capabilities.
Defence Turkey: In the recent period, you founded a company called TAIS Engine Inc. to supply diesel engines to military ships. Could you please enlighten our readers about the activities you have conducted so far on the engine and the qualified manpower established?
Doğan BEŞCAN: The core team established within TAIS Engine Inc. performs the feasibility studies. The project that will start with medium speed large (6,000-10,000 Kw) diesel main engines will continue with smaller (1,000-2,000 Kw) diesel auxiliary and main engines.
Defence Turkey: What are the future goals of TAIS?
Doğan BEŞCAN: We plan to make TAIS an innovative and competitive structure that offers its wide product range to global markets. To this end, we are structuring and forming the necessary manpower.
Defence Turkey: Is there any additional message you would like to convey to our readers?
Doğan BEŞCAN: As TAIS, we are competing against very strong rivals in the most challenging markets of the world in order to provide new business opportunities for our country and the Turkish military shipbuilding sector by using the capabilities and joint forces of our partners. We aim to accomplish these achievements and we will succeed in this way being one of the best examples of the Turkish private sector’s culture of doing business together.