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19th to 21st of May 2026
19st, 20nd & 21th
MAY 2026


Vigo shipyards generating 2,000 jobs and a boosting workload

Aclunaga celebrates shipowners “are ordering again in Europe”, but sees “a certain weakness” in financing

Vigo shipyards currently generate an employment volume between 2,000 and 2,500 workers, including the auxiliary industry, and the hard core is concentrated in Armón and Freire, which are the two shipbuilding factories currently pushing the industry. Together with Cardama and Nodosa (in Marín) they have around twenty construction contracts in force ensuring a workload for two years.

The sector expects figures will increase in the coming months with the new constructions Cardama has, two ocean patrol vessels for Uruguay, which will involve about 800 more workers, according to figures managed by the Galician Maritime Cluster (Aclunaga), which recalls that “At maximum activity periods we had around 6,000 jobs,” says the manager of Aclunaga, Óscar Gómez.

The cluster celebrates “the return to shipbuilding in Europe, something that has not happened in a long time.” “There is movement in the market, gaining contracts and many budget requests, but the issue is to carry out the ordered ships financing because, at this moment, there is a certain weakness on this matter as there are a lot of constructions underway " he explains.

Aclunaga has good prospects for the sector. “There will be a workload and offers as the market is moving a lot and there has been a lot of new construction in the last year and a half, although they are lower value units,” he points out in reference to the amount of construction.

Oceanographic and fishing vessels
Oceanographic and fishing vessels are currently taking over the activity at Vigo shipyards while in the rest of Europe, supplied by the Galician auxiliary industry, "many passenger ships are being made and cruise ships are also being a quite interesting work element for Spain, Holland or Germany.”

Shipbuilding in Vigo is currently commanded by Armón and Freire. Two yards the Asturian group has in Beiramar, Armón Vigo and Ría de Vigo (former Hijos de J.Barreras), have a dozen boats in their portfolio, several under construction and others awarded on which they have not yet started work. They are research boats, fishing boats, a patrol boat, and a ferry. Freire has two oceanographic buildings, a trawler, and a maintenance vessel and Cardama has just been awarded two vessels for the Uruguayan National Navy, which will generate workload. In Marín, Nodosa is building three trawlers.

The sector is experiencing a stable moment with some of the best order books in recent years despite the difficulties like energy and materials costs increase such as steel, as well as the shortage of qualified personnel. In addition, we must consider the decline in new buildings at Metalships, one of the largest shipyards in Vigo, which remains with no new construction for years and is focused on ship repairing and maintenance. San Enrique (former Factorías Vulcano) also has a niche repairing and tuning boats.

(Source: Atlántico Diario)