BUSINESS

Skaramangas goes up for grabs

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Business

This week, or by next Tuesday at the latest, the special administrator installed at Skaramangas Shipyards (ENAE) will publish the announcement of the international tender for all of the company’s assets. The unit has already attracted major interest from domestic and foreign groups, although that is not certain to translate into binding financial bids.

The interest of foreign shipbuilding groups involved in military programs is focused on whether the Skaramangas complex will be able to undertake part of the expected deal with the Greek government for the procurement of four frigates that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has announced. Sources say that in order to make their proposal to Athens more attractive, some groups may, as is usually the case, offer to construct some of the frigates at Greek shipyards.

Among the groups interested in that or other similar models of cooperation are American company Lockheed Martin, Dutch peer Damen Shipyards Group, Germany’s ThyssenKrupp and France’s Naval Group.

Other candidate buyers, regardless of military procurements, appear to be Northstar, which belongs to Theofilos Priovolos, and possibly ONEX, which has already acquired the units at nearby Elefsina and on Syros.

In any case, the investments that the Skaramangas Shipyards need to meet the requirements of such a navy vessel-building program are estimated to be huge, so sources familiar with procedures say any such discussion is premature.

Nevertheless, Lockheed is said to have already submitted a proposal for the construction of four Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC) frigates to the Hellenic Navy, with three of them to be built at Greek shipyards. It is also said to be interested in the upgrade of four Hellenic Navy MEKO frigates, a project in which the Dutch company is also interested.

Even so, to secure the sustainability of the Skaramangas Shipyards in the long term, there should also be commercial ship-repair activity. A similar streamlining program is under way at ONEX’s neighboring Elefsis Shipyards.

Demand for private commercial ship-repair work has been on the rise, as activity at Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) and at Neorio Shipyards on Syros illustrates.

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