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Nordseewerke Emden GmbH
Type Private company
Industry Shipbuilding
Genre Shipbuilding
Founded 1903
Headquarters Emden, Germany
Employees 1,400 (in 2010)
Parent Schaaf Industrie AG (SIAG)

Nordseewerke with the inland port of Emden in the foreground seen from the southwest in 2010

Nordseewerke Emden GmbH (sometimes abbreviated NSWE, in English: North Sea Company) was a shipbuilding company, located in the north German city of Emden. Founded in 1903 shipbuilding ended in 2010 and the company was overtaken by the Schaaf Industrie AG[1] (SIAG), which among others produces components for off-shore systems.

The shipyard employed some 1,400 people in the last years and with that it was the second-largest employer in Emden, following the plant of the Volkswagen automotive company. Today the situation is very critical and only few of the former coworkers of the shipyard are still employed with the new owner SIAG, which also became insolvent in 2012.


Nordseewerke was founded on March 11, 1903 and was one of the oldest among the still-existing shipyards in Germany. Shipbuilding was finished 2010. Successor is the Schaaf Industrie AG (SIAG). The company built merchant ships of all categories but also ships for the Kaiserliche Marine during World War I, the Kriegsmarine later and today's modern Deutsche Marine.

The shipyard has also constructed ships for use by other navies, like the Kobben (Type 207) and Ula (Klasse 210) class submarines for the Royal Norwegian Navy, which were built to operate in shallow, coastal waters. In the past 20 years, submarines were also exported to South Africa, Argentina (TR-1700 submarine) and Israel.

Besides container and other freight-carrying ships Nordseewerke also built naval vessels. In 1971, the cruise liner Sea Venture (later renamed the Pacific Princess) was constructed. The ship is well known as the film location of The Love Boat.

Ships built by Nordseewerke (selection)

• 1915-1916, first construction of minesweepers for Kaiserliche Marine (M13 and M14)

• 1915-1917, construction of 10 fishing vessels (among them Geier, Bielefeld, Münster), all used as outpost-ships during WW I

• 1920, 14.000 t tanker Baltic fort the Deutsch-Amerikanische Petroleum AG (DAPG), greatest ship of NSWE at that time

• 1922, construction of a floating dock for Argentina

• 1931, ore-transport ship Odin for the Hamburger Seereederei Frigga

• 1931, 17,500 t tanker J. H. Senior for the Baltisch Amerikanische Petroleum Import GmbH in Danzig

• 1940 – 1944, delivery of 30 submarines of type VII C (U 331–U 350 and U 1101–U 1110); additional submarine orders were cancelled

• 1973, container-carrier Sea-Land Trade and Sea-Land Finance for the Sea-Land Service Inc. in USA with gas-turbine propulsion, worldwide fastes merchant ships at that time

• 1976, Constr.No.399, freighter Aegir for the Seereederei Frigga, Altogether NSWE built 23 ships for this company between 1921 and 1968

1977, CNo.455, combined ore-oil freighter Saggat for a Swedish company

• 1978-79, CNo.463/465, TR-1700 class submarines Santa Cruz and San Juan for the Argentine Navy

• 1979, BACO-LINER 1, a new developed concept barge/container-ship (BACO = BArges und COntainer); followed BACO-LINER 2 and BACO-LINER 3

• 1983, CNo. 464, F 122 Bremen class frigate Emden; followed 1990 frigate Lübeck

• 1986, reconstruction oft the Soviet icebreaker Mudyug with new technology (among them Thyssen-Waas Bow and Air Bubble System); followed icebreaker Kapitan Sorokin

• 1994-1996, CNo.469, F 123 Brandenburg class frigate Bayern for the German Navy

• 1999, CNo. 525, suction dredge Vasco da Gama for Belgium Jan de Nul Offshore-Company, worldwide greatest suction dredge at that time

• 1999, Dolphin class submarine Dolphin for the Israeli Navy; altogether 3 units of this class were built at NSWE (Dolphin, Leviathan and Tekuma)

• 2001, CNo. 521, F 124 Sachsen class frigate Hessen of the in cooperation with Blohm & Voss and HDW (ARGE F 124) for the German Navy

• December 2009, launching of container carrier Frisia Cottbus, last ship of NSWE


Hans Jürgen Witthöft, 100 Jahre Nordseewerke, Edition Schiff & Hafen Bd. 6, 2004 Seehafen Verlag GmbH, Hamburg, ISBN 3-87743-806-7

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