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Shipyards, "optimistic" in the start of the year with a 19 vessels portfolio


Aclunaga confirms the entry of more investors to "tax lease" after last December ruling

The Regional Minister of Economy, Employment and Industry, Francisco Conde, said yesterday that "forecasts for 2016 are very positive" for the shipbuilding sector in Galicia, after a meeting with the president of the Galician Naval Cluster Association (Aclunaga) Marcos Freire. Conde said that "all contracts in force and those who are concluding" amount to "about 2,000 million euros". He also stressed that the decision of the General Court of the European Union that the former Spanish tax lease system intended to encourage investments, was legal, has revived prospects in the sector.

The Regional Minister emphasized, among the perspectives of the sector, that one for Navantia and the possibility of "materialization of the contract with Saudi Arabia for the construction of five corvettes for an amount close to 12,000 million euros" or the "resolution of the tender in Australia "to build two new ships. In that sense, he considered necessary to promote investment in innovation "to improve competitiveness and what Galician companies “may offer".

For his part, Marcos Freire said it is difficult to make forecasts about the prospects of the sector, but he noted that oil prices create uncertainty. According to the president of Aclunaga "The volatility of oil prices," is an "element that does not allow a complete and clear view of the prospect or growth forecast." He stressed that this factor "slows down and paralyses a market segment" although "there are others who are benefited" as the passenger transport or fishing vessels.

Aclunaga manager, Oscar Gomez, who joined Freire in the meeting as well as the director of the regional institute Igape, Javier Aguilera, said that the Galician naval sector accounts for 25% of activity in Spain, according to the latest statistics. Gomez said that the sector registered 23 contracts and occupied 5,650 employees in Galicia last year, but he regretted that "has lost 50% of employment." However, according to statistics prepared by the Naval Sector Management (Ministry of Industry), the Galician shipyards signed a total of 12 vessels and the order backlog was 19 at the end of 2015.

(Source: Faro de Vigo)

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