A ceremony was held this morning in Romania to mark the start of a new chapter at one of Europe’s largest shipyards.
Damen Shipyards Mangalia officially started operations today, having finally sealed a deal to take over the stake held by South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME). The deal was held up for many months as the Romanian government sought to up its stake in the yard from 49% to 51%, something Dutch Damen finally acceded to. The Black Sea yard is now a joint venture between Damen and the Romanian government and becomes the largest in the Damen network.
With three drydocks with a total length of 982 m and 1.6 km of berthing space, the yard gives Damen the chance to build larger ships. In a statement today, Damen said it might seek to market ferries and offshore construction vessels at the site.
The yard’s orderbook is severely depleted and Damen’s priority will be to get orders in fast, something Frank Eggink, Damen’s CFO acknowledged today. “We will face a challenging period, considering the yard’s current condition,” Eggink said. “However, with the full support of the Romanian government, [2 Mai Mangalia Shipyard], the shipyard’s experienced workforce, and the local community, Damen aims to restore the financial health of the yard, stabilise employment and pursue fitting commercial opportunities internationally that will contribute to rebuilding activity levels. In the meantime, Damen will facilitate a smooth transition and keep talented and skilled resources meaningfully employed.”
Damen has had another yard in Galati on the banks of the Danube River in Romania since 1999.