BUSINESS

Ship repair activity looking up

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Business, Shipping

The ship repair industry in Greece is looking up, with very promising data both from the Neorio Shipyards on Syros and the ship repair zone in Piraeus, and with investor interest being discussed for the Elefsis and Skaramangas shipyards.

According to data released by Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) on Monday, the number of ships that dry-docked at its facilities increased from 69 in 2016 to 108 in 2019, and is expected to reach up to 130 this year. The number of ships that underwent maintenance at the Perama ship repair zone without needing dry-docking reached 233 last year.

At the same time Neorio Shipyards has served 200 vessels over the last 20 months, against practically zero in previous years, as little work had been done at the unit before the agreement for its streamlining. Management sources say that for each ship whose repair the unit undertakes there are another 7.7 waiting; this highlights the momentum the Greek ship repair industry has gained after decades in the shadows.

Shipping company officials tell Kathimerini that this is a typical example of credibility recovery: As the quality of work and delivery times are considered particularly competitive by the standards of the entire Mediterranean, Greek shipyards are now being selected by a series of shipmanagement corporations, even though the prices may be lower at Turkish or Maltese shipyards.

The rebound in demand for ship repair work in Greece and the increased requirements by the Hellenic Navy are seen as the factors driving the interest in the acquisition of the Elefsis and Skaramangas shipyards. At Elefsis Shipyards, ONEX, which already controls Neorio Shipyards, has obtained a majority stake and is set to finalize a streamlining agreement with creditors. A tender is about to be announced for Skaramangas by its administration for the sale of the main shipbuilding unit, while in the next few months the tender by the Hellenic Public Properties Company will follow for a neighboring plot hosting Dock 5.

Both Elefsis and Skaramangas shipyards require investments of tens of millions of euros to have their equipment modernized, say market sources, pointing at the investments OLP has made in its zone.

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