Rapid developments are underway in the revitalization and resurgence of Greece’s shipbuilding and repair industry. On Monday, November 6, 2023, a landmark financing agreement for the Elefsis Shipyards was signed between the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and the ONEX Group. This agreement marks the first and only financing from the DFC in Greece to date, confirming the strategic importance of the country’s shipyards as a geostrategic hub in the broader Eastern Mediterranean region.
The agreement involves a loan financing of $125 million for the Rehabilitation Plan of the Elefsis Shipyards. DFC Managing Director Scott Nathan highlighted the agreement as a new era of cooperation between the USA and Greece, leading to greater economic growth and energy security for both countries. The project will enable the shipyard to repair LNG ships, transforming Greece into an energy hub and focusing on renewable energy sources, including the construction of floating wind turbines.
ONEX Group, now the official owner of the shipyards, had submitted the rehabilitation plan for approval to the relevant Parliamentary Committee last November. The plan was unanimously supported by the shipyard workers, banks, the Greek state, and had significant support from the Greek government, with a decisive contribution from then Minister of Development, Adonis Georgiadis. On October 19, 2023, the Athens Multi-Member Court of First Instance ratified the Elefsis Shipyards Rehabilitation Plan, putting an end to a long period of devaluation of Greece’s largest shipyards.
The American Congress had approved the DFC’s recommendation to proceed with the loan financing of $125 million to ONEX Shipyards for the Shipyard Rehabilitation Plan. The amount is significantly higher than the initially projected $102 million, and the DFC Board had completed all internal procedures for the approval of the financing. Notably, a special law was passed in Congress two years ago with support from both the Democratic and Republican parties to enable this financing.
The funding aims to restore and upgrade the Elefsis Shipyards, increasing the shipyard’s capacity to service up to 200 ships annually. The inauguration of the “Stratis G. Andreadis” dock of the Elefsis Shipyards also took place today. The reconstruction and upgrade of the panamax category dock were completed in an exceptionally short time, making it the most modern dock in Greece and enabling the execution of a full range of ship maintenance works.
The collaboration with Fincantieri: In mid-June last year, the ONEX Shipyards & Technologies group announced the expansion of its collaboration with the Italian shipbuilding giant Fincantieri S.p.A. The partnership includes a new line of world-class ship production under the Group’s defense shipbuilding company, ONEX Elefsis Naval & Maritime, ranging from corvette construction to the most advanced surface ships, like frigates, offering the Hellenic Navy modern, interoperable high-tech solutions to significantly upgrade its operational capabilities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
With information from: Bloomberg, newmoney, Reuters