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Emden has a long tradition in ship building, going back to 1472 and before. The first location of the Cassens shipyard dates from 1682, when the Great Elector was given this piece of land for the establishment of the "BRANDENBURGER WERFT". This company changed hands in 1751 and was renamed to "ZUM PREUSSISCHEN ADLER". In 1875, the shipbuilders Cassen Cassens of Ihlowerfehn and Klattendorf of Emden bought the yard, renaming it "CASSENSSCHE WERFT". In 1881, the first new ship, a Schooner brig of 169 GRT was launched at the yard. From the mid-1880s, the company built two to four sailing loggers a year, which where gradually replaced by steam ships with auxiliary sails. A number of gaff and pilot schooners were also built during these years. In 1902, the shipyard relocated to its current site. This move was accompanied by a restructuring effort that turned the company from a traditional timber shipyard into a modern facility for steel ships and machines, still maintaining its tradition of solid craftsmanship. When the Dortmund-Ems canal opened in 1899, the shipyard gained many new customers. After the First World War, it entered into a business partnership with Westfälische Transport AG (WTAG). This company was set up as a transport service provider on the Dortmund-Ems canal, and Cassens became its partner for repairs and maintenance of its fleet of more than 100 ships. The floating dock with a capacity of 1000 tons purchased in 1936 in Sczcecin was damaged during the Second World War but was repaired and put back into operation in 1945.

Revival of business, the present and the future

In 1956, WTAG, who in the same year became the sole owner of the shipyard, placed its first order for a new ship. It was the first such order after a gap of many years. Until the early 1960s, ships for inland navigation dominated the order list. In later years, the company diversified, producing tugboats, coastal cargo liners, ferries and specialised vessels. In 1972, the shipyards owned by VEBA were brought together under the umbrella of Werftunion GmbH & Co. Cassens and WTAG also belonged to this group, as they were owned by Stinnes Reederei, Cassens being at that time the largest shipyard of the group. It gradually developed into a shipyard for sea-going vessels, especially after 1979, when it took over a part of the neighbouring site of the Schulte & Bruns yard. In 1992, Cassens underwent a complete restructuring. As a consequence, the association between Cassens, the Arminius Werke and Weserwerft was revived by the establishment of Werftunion Verwaltungs GmbH in Bodenwerder. Two russian shipcompanies, namely White Sea & Onega Shipping Company in Petrozavodsk, and North Western Shipping Company in St Petersburg became shareholders of Cassens, opening up new markets in the East of Europe and Russia.

In 2001, Weserwerft left the association, and Hitzler Werft, a specialist for cargo ships for inland navigation with many years of experience in the field, joined the association.

Thanks to the new shipyards' association with its close collaboration between the partners, the group could offer is customer optimised solutions for ships up to 12,000 tdw. The three companies also worked closely together in the provision of services for industrial plants. With its locations in Lauenburg, Emden and Bodenwerder, the association was well positioned in Northern Germany.

Our current range of new ships includes:
tugboats, passenger ships, yacht cruisers, and island ferries, gas tankers, push-boats and supply ships, combined cargo/passenger ships, research vessels, buoy layers, ships for inland navigation, general purpose freighters and container vessels.

In addition to these new constructions, a large number of vessels entered our floating docks of 5000 and 1500-ton capacity for repairs.

  • Conversion of a passenger ship for river navigation to a luxury hotel ship
  • Conversion and general service of river cruiser
  • Conversion of pipe layer for Europipe project
  • Conversion and renovation of 7 inland navigation vessels to river/sea-going ships

As part of a joint venture Cassens was also for a time a shareholder in 2 shipyards in Petrozavodsk and Rostov on Don in Russia.
Cassens GmbH was badly affected by the global recession in the shipbuilding industry, competition from Asian shipyards and the consequences of the events of the 11th of September 2001, and was forced to close due to insolvency.

New Foundation

The Cassens Werft GmbH has subsequently been re-founded and has emerged from the traditional "ship-yard and Maschinenfabrik Cassens GmbH". The new company with modern organisational structures embraces the challenges of the global market, by focussing on the needs of its customers and operating an efficient quality management system according to the standard ISO 9001. The rising demand for container ships and multipurpose vessels provided a full utilization of the yard and an backlog of orders that originally should be sufficient to the year 2011 However, the economic crisis walking along with the financial crisis also did not stop before the shipping and shipbuilding, so that a container ship threatened in summer 2008 not to be financed by delivery, whereupon an insolvency procedure was inevitable. Although this situation occurred unexpectedly, nevertheless, it created the assumption for realignment of the shipyard which takes place at the beginning of 2009.

The activities of the Cassens shipyard will be divided into 3 fields:

The Cassens Werft GmbH had a significantly improved utilization in the classic reconstruction and repair business during the last years. By changing the weighting of business activity this division will be further strengthened medium-term.

In the past, Cassens Werft was known as one of the most flexible ship builders in Germany in the field of the sea ship new buildings. Over the last few years, the company specialised among the market of small, high-quality cruise ships also in the range of cargo vessels and accumulated enormous know-how in this area.

The new draft plans to develop high qualified newbuildings of top-class ships as single models or prototypes, and to market situation productions of small batch series in cooperation with shipyards all over the world. In addition to passenger ships and cargo vessels, in particular cruise ships or other vessels are considered in which the Cassens shipyard can benefit of its know-how advantage.

Steel construction
Due to the excellent location of the Cassens shipyard in the seaport of Emden with direct rail and motorway connection the so-called "heavy-duty steel" on the Cassens shipyard should be developed. Large-volume and heavy construction units can be directly produced on the water and be transported.

Cassens Werft GmbH
II. Hafeneinschnitt
26723 Emden

Telephone: +49 4921 827-0
Fax: +49 4921 827-226