The Finnish ship interior supplier, NIT is expanding its business operations in Germany through an agreement with shipbuilder MV Werften’s on the first interior turnkey deal for Dream Cruises’ 204,000gt Global class series. This is a story of a local entrepeneur’s development into a global actor.
NIT will design and install the main passenger staircase areas for the two new ships, designed for the Asian cruise markets and scheduled to sail on their maiden voyages from Wismar in 2020 and 2021.
With a length of 342mtr and a passenger capacity up to 9,500, the Global class ships will be the biggest cruise ships ever built in Germany.
Both vessels have two large passenger staircase areas, the total area of which is almost 12,000sq mtr.
In addition to the visual interiors, NIT will also deliver electrical installations and piping for these areas.
– We are delighted to announce this new partnership with MV Werften, says Jari Suominen, CEO of NIT.
– Our new customer sees high value in the ambition and experience of our teams and we certainly do our best to exceed their expectations.
From its home base in Piikkiö, Finland NIT is working with leading shipbuilders and provided interior areas for more than 50 large vessels, specialising in challenging areas such as staircases, restaurants, nightclubs and spas.
The success of the Global class project will strengthen the story of European shipbuilding, says Suominen. ’Not only are we building great ships together – we are also exploring exciting concepts and unlocking new opportunities for market expansion.’
NIT is a Finnish maritime industry company that specializes in turnkey interior design and construction contracts for cruise ships and ferries. NIT has delivered passenger, crew and technical areas for the most demanding customers in our business including the European shipyards of Turku, Rauma, Helsinki, Papenburg and Bremerhaven.
The story of NIT is a story of determined entrepreneurship.
Two engineers, Kenneth Luoma (left) and Jari Suominen (right), have been building ships for all of their working lives. They were both inspired by shipbuilding at a very early age, when they were able to follow the traditions and shipbuilding achievements in the two southwestern Finnish cities of Turku and Uusikaupunki.
Kenneth and Jari both started working for the industry as employees. Based on the many lessons they learnt they eventually established NIT (standing for Naval Interior Team) with Arto Naumala at the turn of the millennium in 2000.
Early this year NIT founder Mr. Luoma announced that he is to retire, stepping down from the daily business operations of NIT and transferred his shares to NIT management, and Vesa Heikkinen, Ilkka Hiekkanen and Sebastian Lagerlöf have become new owners.
Jari Suominen will continue as CEO of NIT and remains the largest shareholder of the company following the ownership change. The price of the transaction has not been published.
NIT will retain access to Luoma’s significant experience, as he has continued to be a member of the company’s board of directors.
NIT grew rapidly during its first years, when the Finnish shipyards at Rauma, Turku and Helsinki were also thriving. A high mark was reached in 2007-2008 when annual sales peaked at 17 million euros. But orders quickly dried up after the financial crisis of 2008, and NIT’s management had to start looking for new markets.
This meant moving outside NIT’s home base in Finland and finding new customers.
NIT has by now received orders from almost all of the shipyards that build cruise ships anywhere in the world. Business has recovered, and the company is enjoying growth again. Recent works include cruisers for Carnival Group in Nagasaki with Mitsubishi and Hapag Lloyd with Vard of Norway.
Managing director Jari Suominen adds that NIT will not forget its roots. Turku shipyard has a bright future under its new German owner, Meyer Werft, and Turku remains the customer most closely connected to NIT. The company has been working for the TUI newbuildings and has orders for the Costa newbuildings.
Suominen emphasizes that NIT will continue to serve all customers with the same dedication and honesty. This will mean continuing to realize innovations, while effectively demonstrating high respect for deadlines.
Text: Mikko Niini