MSC Crociere: sea-view on the future
Cruise ship MSC Seaview, 15th unit in fleet, was delivered by Fincantieri in Monfalcone. Buying option on the third and fourth World Class ships will be shortly formalized. The Koheler affair is breaking out in France
The relations between MSC Crociere and Fincantieri is going on at full steam and six months after having delivered sister unit MSC Seaside, the shipbuilding giant's manufacturing site of Monfalcone is delivering the MSC Seaview (153,000 GT and 323 metres in length), which – said the company - “is the largest and technologically most innovative ship ever designed and built in Italy”.
Cruiseship MSC Seaview, encompassed in a 10.5 billion Euro investment plan which envisages the construction of 12 newbuildings by 2026, is the third unit christened by the shipping company in the last 12 months.
Moreover, as disclosed alongside the ceremony, after the original double order, a third and fourth buying option, covering 200,000 GT units of the World Class pilot project, will be shortly exerted at STX France of St. Nazaire.
Considering the construction of MSC Seaview and sister unit MSC Seaside, besides two (Evo Seaside class) ships, already ordered Fincantieri and ready for delivery in 2021 and 2023, MSC Crociere's investments in Italy exceeds 3.5 billion Euro, thus generating overall 10 billions economic impact.
For this reason, Giuseppe Bono and Pierfrancesco Vago's speeches, at the Seaview's christening ceremony, pivoted on the group's ongoing relationship with Italy.
Fincantieri's Managing Director - proud of an order portfolio which will double current turnover by 2022, actually exceeding 7 billion Euro (“when I joined the company the group's sales stood at 2 billions”) - asked the new Government: “to continue focusing on the domestic industry: “we don't want subsidies but guarantees on export for our customers”.
The group's CEO asked the Government “to pursue the ongoing port reform particularly focusing on a sole 'control room' and national coordination to allocate financial resources”.
Once having flown the Maltese flag on the Seaview, the manager pinpointed he confides “the International Register will be amended: several jobs within the 36,000 we'll be creating in coming years might be taken by Italian workers, nevertheless, current regulations must be revised”.
Finally, Bono was asked to “preserve the Italian shipbuilding know-how” (making reference to latest collaborations in China) while the President of Veneto Region, Luca Zaia, was asked “to pursue former President's commitment to try and sort out Venice affair”.
Venice impasse, illustrated Vago, halted all MSC's projects in the Adriatic, encompassing the new Maritime Station in Trieste, where the company is already “handling cargo trade (holding 50% shares in TMT containers terminal) and is particularly interested in cruise passengers business”.
As reported by AdsP's President, Zeno D'Agostino, regarding the opportunity to set up in current Adriaterminal (GMT-Steinweg), the concession (due to expire in 2021), won't be renewed”.
Furthermore, “we are waiting for the formalisation of the tender we won with other partners in order to manage cruise passengers terminal. Meanwhile we are formalizing our commitment in La Spezia, in partnership with the same groups we are joining in Civitavecchia (RCCL and Costa Crociere, Ed.)”.
Finally, Gianni Onorato illustrated the company's financial results: “In 2018 the group's turnover will grow by 20%, from 2.1 to 2.5 billion Euro, while passengers will reach 2.38 millions”.
The ongoing expansion - pinpointed Vago, never mentioning but inevitably whispering they passed competitor Costa Crociere in the number of ships - “meant becoming the fourth group globally in 15 years and first Italian shipping company 100% controlled by private capital”.
The Kohler affair is breaking out in France
French anti-corruption police opened a preliminary enquiry on President Macron's Chief of Staff, Alexis Kohler, regarding his relations with MSC group.
Kohler is accused for having breached conflict of interest rules for his link with Rafaela Aponte, Gianluigi's wife and co-founder of Geneve-based group and his consequent appointment in STX France's BOD in between 2010 and 2012 while holding office in France's state holding Agency-APE.
According to Anticor association, which filed the complaint, the breach ensued from the very close relationship between Saint Nazaire yard and MSC, of which Kohler was financial manager in between 2016 and 2017.
The Elysee Palace said Kohler had not acted unlawfully and had informed the Ministry about his relations with MSC group”.