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Editor in chief: Angelo Scorza
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10/09/18 09:50

Big order at a Croatian shipyard now cancelled

Siem revoked the contract for 4 car-carriers placed with 3. Maj (Uljanik Group)

With a brief notice to Zagreb Stock Exchange, the shipbuilder officially confirmed the cancellation of an important order placed with the Croatian shipyard 3. Maj (Pula-based Uljanik Group).

The termination of the naval construction agreements for the hulls n. 514, 515, 524 and 525 was due to Uljanik d.d.'s inability to deliver the ships according to the provisions of the construction

agreement entered into with Automarine Transport Inc. and Siem Shipping Inc., two subsidiaries

established at the Cayman Islands of the international Group SIEM Industries.

More specifically, the order concerned 4 7,000 ceu pure car trucks carriers (PCTC). On September the 1st the buyer unilaterally cancelled hull no. 514, thus also the other 3 sister ships.

The first newbuilding had already been launched, while the second one had already been laid down; the construction of hulls no. 524 and 525 had not started yet.

In fact, the Siem Ashanti unit was launched on May the 19th in the stock n. 2 of the shipyard 3.Maj in Rijeka, at the presence of the chairman of the Uljanik group Gianni Rossanda (who was probably dismissed as he resigned on August the 28th, together with other 14 managers), of the manager of the shipyard 3. Maj Maksimilian Percan, of the shipowner Kristian Siem and of the godmother Julia Osei Tutu, wife of the king of the Ashanti region in the Republic of Ghana.

The termination of the agreements for the construction of 4 large car trucks carriers due to the

impossibility to deliver the units within the terms initially provided for upset trade unions.

Workers had just concluded 10 days of strike action due to delays in the payment of salaries, and the company had finally provided sufficient guarantees to the Croatian postal bank (HPB) for the change in the insurance instruments on loans issued in 2015 and 2016.

However, this further heavy blow will prevent the Croatian company from earning the essential

returns to pay its outstanding debts.

Trade unions asked for the dismissal of the managers of both shipyards, publicly urging the Public Prosecutor's Office and the Uskok (Office against corruption and organised crime) to investigate about the relation between the shipyard's top management and the Municipality of Pula.

For their part, workers at 3. Maj want the shipyard to leave the Uljanik Group, and asked for the restitution of the 523 million kune (71 million euro) loan granted to Uljanik.

Another problem for the Quarnero shipbuilder is the request from the American company Scenic Cruises, which recently placed a 125 million dollar order for a luxury ship (plus its sister ship) and asked to hire workers of cooperating external companies in the Pula shipyard to continue the

construction of the ship ordered. In response, 4,000 Croatian workers planned a strike, although

being aware that the termination of another existing agreement would imply bankruptcy for their company.

This could be prevented by the Government, as Zagreb plans to get in contact with the Norwegian shipowner to find a solution.

Meanwhile, the Canadian group Algoma, which placed an order related to 3 39,000 dwt bulk carriers with Uljanik, voiced its concern about the continuation of the constructions of the new units.

As a matter of fact, the only good news for this summer was the delivery, on August the 9th, of Apollo, the first self-propelled platform built by Uljanik and the first highly sophisticated ship built in Croatia, to GeoSea Luxembourg S.A. The offshore unit is equipped with four 106.8 m long legs – that Uljanik Shipyard built with a special team created specifically for this highly technological challenge – allowing to work at depths up to 70 meters.

Angelo Scorza

 

 

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