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Thyssenkrupp buys Wismar shipyard in Germany

Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) has acquired MV Werften's shipyard in Wismar, Germany. (TKMS)

The Marine Systems business of German industrial conglomerate Thyssenkrupp (TKMS) has acquired the Wismar shipyard in northern Germany to help it handle an expected order for more submarines from the German government.

TKMS purchased Wismar from insolvent cruise ship builder MV Werften for an undisclosed sum. Converting the shipyard to build submarines will require re-training the workforce and buying special machines, TKMS spokesman Eugen Witte said in a 23 June e-mail. “The employees in Wismar are all highly qualified, but they have no experience in building submarines,” he explained.

Wismar will supplement TKMS's existing submarine production in Kiel. The exact timing of the government's additional submarine order is unclear.

“With the current capacities exclusively in Kiel, production for submarines ordered now would not be able to begin until 2036,” Witte said. “This means that these boats would then be ready in the 2040s. If orders are placed quickly now, investments can be made immediately in Wismar, parallel production would be possible, and the additionally ordered submarines could be ready in 2037.”

TKMS indicated it also might use Wismar for surface ship work.

Founded in 1946 and modernised in the 1990s, Wismar is “one of the largest” shipyards in Europe, according to MV Werften. However, Wismar's operations are currently at a standstill because of MV Werften's insolvency, Witte said.

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