Case Studies of Australian Businesses in China
Harbour and Marine Engineering
Melbourne-based Harbour and Marine Engineering is a leading supplier of vessel mooring systems and related engineering services to ports, harbours and the offshore oil and gas industry throughout the world. Harbour and Marine's project experience ranges across coal, iron ore, bauxite and other bulk materials, oil and petroleum products, liquefied natural gas and general cargo wharves.
Harbour and Marine has been exporting to China since the late 1990s. Its major customers include Baoshan Steel, Shanghai Petroleum Corporation and the Zhenhai Refinery, as well as multinationals Caltex and BP. Harbour and Marine Engineering has been selling its entire range of goods and services to these firms, from basic mechanical mooring equipment through to instrumentation for monitoring bulk cargoes and laser docking systems.
Harbour and Marine Engineering researched Chinese maritime industry structure thoroughly upon commencing business and has carefully built relationships with Chinese port design institutes over time. They have found it challenging to convince Chinese businesses to pay more for state-of-the-art technology than the more basic local product. They also emphasise the need to protect intellectual property. However, despite increasing competition from European competitors, Harbour and Marine Engineering is very optimistic about their future in China, particularly as energy demand grows and the liquefied natural gas market develops on the back of recent contracts.
Source: Harbour and Marine Engineering, 2002.
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