Damen, Adriatic Marinas and the Montenegrin Government sign contract for redevelopment of Bijela shipyard
The consortium of superyacht marina development and operating group Adriatic Marinas and the global ship and superyacht builder Damen, have been working with the Government of Montenegro. Since 2012 the parties have been developing plans to bring about the redevelopment of the former Bijela shipyard in Boka Bay, Montenegro.
The recent completion of technical surveys and the placing of a contract by the government and the World Bank for the remediation of the site has paved the way for the signing of the Concession Agreement for the yard on 30th November. Following completion of the remediation works in early 2020, it will be transformed by the consortium over the following 12 months into a superyacht repair and refit facility.
This initiative has been challenging, but the resulting benefits to the economy of Montenegro are potentially significant with over 300 people eventually expected to return to the marine industry. Bijela, Herzeg Novi, is the historic homeland of the sector in Montenegro and with this the region will once again deliver Montenegro’s renowned skills to the Mediterranean marine market.
The planning of recruitment and training through the reputable apprenticeship programme that Damen operates throughout its global network of shipyards is already underway. So too are plans for the production of new, state-of-the-art lifting and repair equipment to be brought to the facility following completion of remediation works.
In the meantime, it is hoped that interim arrangements can be agreed with the Government of Montenegro and its remediation contractor Valgo, to allow a preliminary yachting service to be operated in the western portion of the Bijela site. This could commence as early as winter 2019/20.
Rene Berkvens, Damen’s CEO, commented: “We are happy that today marks the beginning of a new lease of life for the shipyard in Bijela. Together with our partners we take a long-term view on making yacht maintenance and refit in Montenegro a success. A strong customer base at Porto Montenegro and yacht maintenance and refit skills within the Damen Group will contribute to the success of this venture. Considering the yard’s current condition, we face a challenging period. However, with the continuous full support of the Montenegrin Government, and in close cooperation with our strong partner and the local community, we aim to restore the yard’s health, increase employment, and pursue fitting commercial opportunities both locally and internationally that will contribute to rebuilding activity levels.”
Adriatic Marinas Managing Director David Margason stated: “The teams at Adriatic Marinas and Damen have been working for a very long time with the Government of Montenegro to realize this challenging and exciting project. We are delighted that this next major step has been achieved and believe that this initiative is an ideal example of how Montenegro’s fast-growing tourism and marine leisure industry can convert back into the generation of jobs in associated creative and production industries to offer a comprehensive, integrated and sustainable range of employment opportunities to future generations in the country.”
Damen Shipyards Group
Damen Shipyards Group operates 35 shipbuilding and repair yards, employing 12,000 people worldwide. Damen has delivered more than 6,000 vessels in more than 100 countries and delivers some 160 vessels annually to customers worldwide. Based on its unique, standardised ship-design concept Damen is able to guarantee consistent quality.
Damen’s focus on standardisation, modular construction and keeping vessels in stock leads to short delivery times, low ‘total cost of ownership’, high resale values and reliable performance. Furthermore, Damen vessels are based on thorough R&D and proven technology.
Damen offers a wide range of products, including tugs, workboats, naval and patrol vessels, high speed craft, cargo vessels, dredgers, vessels for the offshore industry, ferries, pontoons and superyachts.
For nearly all vessel types Damen offers a broad range of services, including maintenance, spare parts delivery, training and the transfer of (shipbuilding) know-how. Damen also offers a variety of marine components, such as nozzles, rudders, winches, anchors, anchor chains and steel works.
Damen Shiprepair & Conversion (DSC) has a worldwide network of eighteen repair and conversion yards of which twelve are located in North West Europe. Facilities at the yards include more than 50 floating and (covered) drydocks, the largest of which is 420 x 90 metres, as well as slopes, ship lifts and indoor halls. Projects range from the smallest simple repairs through Class’ maintenance to complex refits and the complete conversion of large offshore structures. DSC completes around 1,300 repair and maintenance jobs annually, both at yards as well as in ports and during voyage.
About Porto Montenegro
Porto Montenegro is the Mediterranean’s leading luxury yacht homeport and marina village. The state-of-the-art facility has been designed to cater to the advanced needs of all yachts, their owners, guests and crew with specific infrastructure for the largest yachts afloat. The marina currently has 450 berths, more than 320 sold-out luxury apartments, as well as 70 units of ground floor retail made up of restaurants, bars, cafes, shops and amenities and a five star Regent Hotel with over 120 luxury suites and apartments.