Aponte to order 4 new ferries in China
Although negotiations started with Moby (currently no longer playing), MSC group allegedly signed a Letter of Intent with Guangzhou shipyard for the construction of a series of ro-pax units worth 110 millions each
Although MSC group didn't confirm the news, Gianluigi Aponte allegedly signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Chinese Guangzhou Shipyard International for the construction of 4 ro-pax ferries (plus further 4 options), worth 110 million dollars each.
Original transaction with the Asian manufacturer – as anticipated by Ship2Shore – was jointly negotiated by MSC and Onorato group, based on a scheme which envisaged the construction of 4 ferries, 2 for Grandi Navi Veloci (controlled by MSC) and 2 for Moby, capable to board 2,500 passengers and carry 3,500 cubic metres rolling cargo (worth 150 million dollars per ship).
As confirmed Ship2Shore by some market sources, the accord was finally sealed under different terms.
The LOI – to be shortly turned into final contract – was seemingly only signed by MSC, while the 4 ro-pax units in order (plus further 4) will be slightly downsized: 300 cabins and 3,000 linear metres loading capacity.
Consequently even the agreed price dropped from 150 to 110 million dollars per ship.
For the time being Moby, particularly due to current financial situation, left the game, however Onorato – whose relationship with Aponte is growing closer, both in business and in the national Associations (See Confitarma and Federlinea news) – might join the deal later, maybe chartering in one or more Chinese-manufactured units.
Even consolidated financial report 2016 of GNV mentioned the newbuildings: as written in the minutes, during the meeting a representative of minority shareholders asked BOD's President Roberto Martinoli about the project concerning new LNG-propelled ships, however his reply wasn't reported in the memo.
According to Ship2Shore, the new 'Chinese' ferries won't be dual fuel but LNG-ready, namely suited to be burning natural gas as fuel with very little changes on board.
Float out of the MSC Seaview in Monfalcone
In the meantime MSC Crociere and Fincantieri celebrated the float out of MSC Seaview in Monfalcone; second cruiseship of the Seaside series, commissioned by the company of Aponte in 2014 (third option still has to be exerted).
The first unit, MSC Seaside, currently under construction at Fincantieri, will be delivered by December 2017 to be operating on a Grand Voyage from Trieste to Miami and subsequently start a series of itineraries in the Caribbean.
The Seaview will be completed by June 2018 ready to cruise in the Mediterranean before relocating to Brazil for winter season 2018/2019.
Both units, worth 700 million Euro each, and potentially even the third sister ship, should the option be exerted, will be the largest cruiseships ever built in Italy: 323 metres in length, 41 in breadth, 70 metres in height and 154,000 GT capacity.They will be capable to accommodate 5,179 passengers and 1,413 crew members respectively host in 2,070 and 759 cabins; public areas will cover 43,500 square metres.