Swedish shipping does not only consist of the shipping agencies and their ships. The access to quite a few
shipyards nearby, shipyards that once were world leading, promoted the development of Swedish shipping. Here follows
a brief list over some of the northern shipyards that were important to the development of the Swedish shipping agencies.
I will use abbreviations for most of the Scandinavian shipyards in the presentation of the ships. An explanation to these
abbreviations will be presented below.
ERIKSBERGS MEKANISKA VERKSTAD
KOCKUMS MEKANISKA VERKSTAD
LINDHOLMENS MEKANISKA VERKSTAD
BURMEISTER & WAIN
The birthplace of the Swedish shipping industry was Motala Verkstad, which was founded in 1822.
The works was constructed at the same time as the Göta Kanal was built and manufactured machines and equipment
that were required during this building project.
Gradually the workshop also started to build ships. In 1858 Lindholmens Warf in Göteborg was purchased in order
to be able to build larger ships. In 1892 Motala Verkstad went bankrupt and Lindholmen was sold on a compulsory auction.
The operations continued and in 1920 Lindholmens Verkstad purchased the business. The name was now changed to
AB Lindholmen - Motala. Motala Verkstad is still active today as a manufacturing industry but they haven’t produced
ships for a very long time.
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Lindholmen delivered its first ship in 1848 but the essential business didn’t start until 1858 when Motala verkstad
became the main owner of the shipyard. The shipyard was situated on the Hising-side of Göta Älv from the
beginning. During the depression at the end of the 1920s the construction of new ships almost ceased completely.
In 1933, the Johnson-concern took over the shipyard and this initiated a new era of greatness for Lindholmen. In 1970
the shipyard was taken over by the Broström concern that already owned Eriksberg, which is Lindholmens closest
neighbour. Broström carried out a fusion of the shipyards in 1971.
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The shipyard has its lineage from the industrial business that F H Kockum founded in Malmö in 1840. The manufacture
was to include several industrial products, such as railway carriages. In 1873 he delivered the first ship from KMV. The
shipyard grew in extent and after a sharp expansion during the 1950s and 1960s the shipyard became one of the world’s
largest. During the 1970s the production was dominated by long series of large tankers. In connection with the shipyard
crises at the end of the 1970s the government took control over KMV in 1979 and the shipyard became a part of Svenska Varv.
The object of Svenska Varv was to reorganize the Swedish shipbuilding industry. In 1986 there was a decision to cease with
all civil production of ships. After this decision the shipyard has changed directed it’s production into submarines for
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During the second word war the USA rapidly built up its shipyard capacity. They wanted to get rid of some of this
capacity after the war. Ship owner Gustav Thordén bought the Kayser shipyard, had it dismounted and transported the
equipment to Uddevalla. The first ship was delivered already in 1947. In spite a lot of orders coming in and an expansion
of the works the shipyard became insolvent. In 1963 the Swedish state and the Eriksbergsvarvet took over. In 1970 the
state bought Erikberg’s 50 percent share and the shipyard became a part of Statsföretag. In 1977 the shipyard was
transmitted to the newly formed Svenska varv. Uddevallavarvet delivered T/T Nanny, with 499000 DW the largest ship ever
built in Sweden, in 1978. In 1986 the last ship was delivered from Uddevallavarvet.
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The shipyard was set up in 1915 on initiative by Artur Du Rietz, resident
of Göteborg. Because of this the shipyard's headquarters were in Göteborg,
a state of affairs that remained during the shipyard's lifetime. Because of
the lack of suitable ground the shipyard chose to drain the shallow area
next to the harbour.
In 1940, Götaverken took over the shipyard and in 1965 it was turned into a
production unit only for götaverken. In 1977 Öresundsvarvet became a part
of Svenska Varv. In 1982 the last newbuilt ship left the shipyard. The
shipyard operations did not die out completely when the production ceased.
The operations continued as a shipyard for repairs and rebuildings, first
under the name Cityvarvet Öresund but in 1992 the shipyard retook the old
name Öresundsvarvet. The construction of huslls has continued on the
shipyard's grounds, nowadays under the management of Bruce's Shipyard. The
hulls are then towed to shipyards in Norway for completion. This production
of hulls is the last remains of the once so extensive swedish production of
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Bergsunda was established as early as 1769. They didn't produce any ships
until the second half of the 19th century, however. At an early stage the
location of the shipyard near lake Mälaren proved problematic. The ships could
only be so large that they could pass through the lock to get out from
In order to solve this problem the shipyard bought the Finnboda Bruk and
changed that plants production into ships. In 1915 Stockholms Rederi AB
Svea took over the ownership. At the end of the 1920s Bergsunds was
liquidated and the operations were concentrated to Finnboda. In 1970 the
shipyard was bought by Saléns which already owned Ekensbergs Varv. Ekensbergs
Varv was located in Mälaren and faced the same problems as Bergsunds, the
operations were limited by the channel of Södertälje. With the takeover of
Finnboda, Saléns liquidated Ekensbergs and moved the equipment and staff to
Finnboda. In 1974 Finnboda turned into a part of Götaverken, which was
owned by Salén as well. In 1977 Götaverken was incorporated in Svenska Varv
and this in turn meant that the shipyard operations in Finnboda were wound up.
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In 1841, Alexander Keiller founded Keillers Werkstad in Göteborg, a
business aimed at industrial production. After bankruptcy the company was
reconstructed in 1867 as Göteborgs Mekaniska Verkstad and with the son
James as the manager. At the same time the shipyard moved over to the Hsing
side of Göta älv. The first ship from the Hising shipyard was delivered in
In 1906, Hugo hammar and Sven Almqvist took over the ownership. At this
time a considerable build up of the shipyards capacity started. In 1916 the
shipyard's name changed to Götaverken. In 1917 it was time for a new owner
to take over, now it was time for the Broström's. hugo Hammar remained as
manager of the shipyard. In 1933 the business had grown so much that
Götaverken was the largest shipyard of the world measured in launched
gross tons. Götaverken decided at the end of the 1950-s to build a
completely new plant at Arendal, further away on Hising Island. When this
plant was ready in 1963 it was unique in the world since most of the
constructionwork was performed indoors. At a rate with the completion of
the ship it was pushed further out on the bed. As the Arendalplant was put
in operation the constructionwork at the old city shipyard was liquidated.
The last launching from this shipyard was in 1968. In 1971 the Salén group
took over the ownership which in turn left the ownership to Svenska Varv in
1977. During this last period the shipyard struggled to survive and looked
for alternatives to the traditional production of tankers and oreships.
They tried to aim at producing specialized ships; ice-breakers, ferries and
rfrigerating ships. The largest expectations were in the direction of
building equipment for the offshore industry, however, and especially of
buildning residential platforms for the Göteborg-based company Consafe.
When Consafe went bankrupt in 1985 this was all but the very last chance
for the shipyard epoch in Göteborg. In 1989 the national ice-breaker Oden
was delivered as götaverkens last ship. Götaverken Cityvarvet survived the
slaughter on shipyards. Here they continued, although in a slimmer version,
with repairs and rebuildings of ships.
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The shipyard was founded in 1850 by Christian Barchman. The name was then
"Ericsbergs metall och tackjerns-gjuteri". From the beginning it was an
ordinary mechanical workshop specialised in galvanization. The first ship
was not delivered until 1873, a steam tugpinnace. After this the ship
production made headway and in 1876 Eriksbergs Mekaniska Verkstad AB was
established. In 1915 Broströms took over the stock majority and they
remained the shipyards owner until the shipyard crisis six decades later. in
1970 EMV took over the competitor Lindholmens. In 1973 EMV sold their
repair business to Götaverken and became a shipyard concentrated on new
production only. The shipyard crisis in the 1970-s led the state to take over
Götaverken in 1976. At the same time EMV becme an affiliated company to
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Wärtsilä had two shipyards in Finland. The shipyard in Åbo with a lineage of shipbuilding
dating to the middle of the 18th century and Helsingsforsvarvet which was founded in the middle of the 19th century.
From 1991 and on these two shipyards are parts of the Norwegian Kvaernaer-group under the name Kvaernaer Masa-yards.
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The shipyard was founded in 1850 in Copenhagen. The shipyard delivered the world’s first ocean-going motor-ship in
1912, M/S Selandia. This delivery gave rise to a long number of orders on similar ships. One example is a series of
ships to the Swedish Nordstiernan (Johnson). From now on, apart from shipbuilding, B & W also became an important
producer of ship-engines that were delivered to the constructions of other shipyards. B & W managed, in spite of a
bankruptcy in 1980, to survive the crisis in the shipping industry but in 1995 the shipyards suffered new economical
problems. The business continues after a reconstruction.
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