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06/05/19 10:39

CMIT Europe unveils China Merchants' projects in oil&gas cruises

A year after the launching, Managing Director Stefano Schiavo illustrates mission and ambitions of the group's technological centre of excellence

Stefano Schiavo

A year after the company's foundation, Stefano Schiavo, CMIT Europe's managing director, evaluates the results achieved by Ravenna-based company controlled by China Merchants Industry Group, whose primary mission focused on achieving high-level engineering skills in the oil&gas and cruiseships business.

“We started with an intensive recruitment campaign, engaging overall 70 people, 81% of which graduated with 38.2 years average age”, Schiavo said.

The company was established on May 8th 2018 and our premises opened on June 18th, “we invested 1 and ½ million Euro in a 1,800 square metres fully refurbished building”.

CMIT Europa targeted providing basic engineering services for the oil&gas and cruise industries.

“We aimed at supplying turnkey solutions, turning into a purchasing centre for each item which need to be purchased by China in Europe. We acted as a vehicle between China and a variety of Italian suppliers, providing solutions and sorting out problems”.

CMIT Europe was particularly engaged in the oil&gas providing know-how to China Merchants' yards in China so as to help them bidding in global tenders.

“Our partner won 1.6 billion Euro tender for Petrobras, however this wasn't finally adjudicated because they couldn't finance the project and a new tender will be called”.

Romagna-based group is intensively developing even in cruise market “where China  Merchants has completely different characteristics compared to renowned global contractors like Fincantieri, Meyer Werft and Stx France” continues Schiavo, adding they are excellent shipyards which exclusively supply ships, while China Merchants envisages providing port terminal, design and ships management.

The Chinese company, which recently took over AVIC Weihai shipbuilding structure, is currently establishing in China the largest existing cruise shipyard.

A new site where the whole production chain will be, as far as possible, integrated in the surrounding area where ancillary services suppliers would move.

“New agreements are being negotiated, even with Italian companies, to manufacture (in-house) every piece needed to whatever would be boarded and assembled on board cruiseships. Regarding relocation in China, the group is willing to support Italian companies.

Furthermore China Merchants recently joined partnership with Viking Ocean Cruises to evaluate development strategies in cruise business together; somehow recalling Carnival, CSSC, Fincantieri agreement.

“CSSC is our main competitor, however we are the largest logistic company globally, unlike CSSC which is the largest shipyard. They are attempting to develop a new brand with Costa Crociere specially designed for the Chinese market like China Merchants is attempting with Viking”, continues the manager.

The Chinese giant targets establishing a large shipyard provided with a dry dock with 630 metres in length, 68 in breadth and 16 in depth, inside a totally covered structure reaching 680 metres in length, 170 in breadth and 97 in height. A shipbuilding site capable to simultaneously manufacture two 250,000 GT cruiseships.

Besides supporting the aforementioned projects, CMIT Europe is bidding in a tender (interior and exterior design) for the construction of ten coastal vessels for Shenzhen bay and Hong Kong.

“We also have relations with various Italian shipowners due to our fleet's age and upcoming IMO 2020 regulations”.

Nicola Capuzzo

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