Japan's Oshima Shipbuilding has started recruiting technical staff ahead of the planned reopening of the former Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Koyagi shipyard near Nagasaki.

Oshima is looking for about 40 experienced and qualified shipbuilding engineering and technical staff to work at the Koyagi shipyard. It told potential recruits it plans to reopen the facility in April 2023.

As reported by TradeWinds earlier this year, MHI sold its main shipbuilding plant at Koyagi to Oshima, as it scaled down its shipbuilding operation.

The delivery of the 310,000-dwt VLCC Basra (built 2020) earlier this month was the last vessel to be built by MHI before it quit the facility.

There have been ongoing discussions on transferring existing staff from MHI over to Oshima.

Pay for new recruits will be up to ¥350,000 ($3,000) per month, depending on age and experience, with two additional bonus payments a year.

Oshima, which is located on an island off Nagasaki, has yet to announce what it will do with the Koyagi shipyard.

Clear indication

The recruitment drive is the clearest indication yet that it is planning to resume shipbuilding.

Oshima is already Japan's largest specialised bulker shipbuilder. The addition of the Koyagi plant will help it achieve its stated ambition to become "the world's number one bulker shipyard".

Oshima currently builds bulkers up to kamsarmax size. The larger dock at Koyagi will allow it to enter the market for capesizes and VLOCs.