KHZ talks are still alive says Lisnave

Yard News - November 20, 2000

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Lisnave ship repair yard in Portugal says it is targeting offshore and conversion work and anticipates an upturn in demand for such work next year, although conditions in the repair and conversion market in southern Europe are such that Lisnave is bidding for all types of work, says Marketing Manager Humberto Bandeira.

"We have a lot of experience and know how in all types of work", said Bandeira, "and have had a good number of enquiries for the first quarter of 2001, but conditions are difficult".

Bandeira says the yard is still talking to Keppel Hitachi Zosen (KHZ) in Singapore, but declined to comment on what kind of a relationship between the yards might result from the talks. KHZ first confirmed that it was talking to Lisnave in May, when themajor shareholder in the company, the Mello family, put its stake up for sale.

The family's move was prompted by losses of nearly $30 million in 1999. In June, shareholders Jose Mendes Rodrigues and Nelson Nunes Rodriguez acquired 25 per cent of the yard, and the Mello group sold its remaining interest.

Bandeira says the talks with KHZ are proceeding, but it seems unlikely that KHZ will formalise its relationship with Lisnave until the re-structuring at the Portuguese yard has been completed this winter.

Once the re-structuring has been formally completed and the costs of closing Margueira have been absorbed, Lisnave's new facilities at Mitrena will be able to offer shipowners a pair of 700,000dwt docks, each 420m x 75m, a 300,000dwt dock of 350m x 55m,and three 80,000dwt docks of 280m x 39m. The docks are complemented by around 20 travelling cranes of up to 100t, and a 500t gantry crane over the 700,000dwt dock Number 20.

"By January 2001, we will have six dry-docks with a capacity of up to 700,00dwt and all the necessary workshops, cranes, jetties, and tank cleaning facilities to provide the best possible service to owners", said Bandeira.

Undoubtedly, these impressive facilities will be attractive to owners, but some doubts must remain about the rigid labour rules at the yard and the age profile of the workforce.

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