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21st to 23rd of May 2024


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The ferries will be largest built in this shipyard The Vigo shipyard Hijos de J. Barreras has guaranteed its activity for the next four years, with the signing of a contract with the Armas shipping company for the building of four new ferries, at a cost of 500 million euros. The building of the first unit will begin next summer, and is expected to be delivered in late 2009. The next three will be received by Armas in 2010, 2011 and 2012, respectively.

This is not the first contract signed between Hijos de J. Barreras with Armas, one of the main shipping companies in the Canary Islands, and a regular client of the shipyard. The four new ferries will join another eight, built over as many years, which allowed for the renovation of the Armas fleet, which currently operates in Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Mauritania and Cape Verde. This is the only company covering all of the islands in the Canary archipelago. The new ships will serve to increase the services and frequencies in inter-island traffic.
The contract confirms the current strength of the Galician naval sector, with an order book of almost 400,000 tonnes for the next five years. Galician shipyards will make more than 40% of all the ships which will be manufactured in Spain in this time. In the next three years, the companies in the sector will require 875 new qualified and specialised staff, according to the Cluster del Naval Gallego.

Armas has become, along with Transmediterránea, a key client for Barreras, which has allowed it to tackle the period following privatisation. Along with Vulcano, it is the shipyards with the most commissions in Spain, which has led the two companies to consider expansion plans. Currently, Barreras is planning a new landfill which will allow it to build larger ships.
At the moment, the ferries commissioned by Armas, with a length of 178 metres, will be the largest ships built up to now at Hijos de J. Barreras. These ships will have four engines, and a 46,000 horsepower, which will allow them to sail at 26 knots, another record for the shipyard. The length between the perpendiculars will be of 159 metres, with a breadth of 26.4 metres. The perp to the main deck will have a height of 9.5 metres, and, to the upper deck, it will have a height of 14.94 metres. The ships’ draught will be of 6.40 metres.

The ships will be equipped to carry 1,500 passengers, 5,000 tonnes of semi-tow cargo and 350 cars. Passengers will be able to enjoy a surface of 9,000 square metres distributed over three decks, where the cabins, restaurants, bars and recreational areas will be set. There will be a swimming pool surrounded by bars and a terrace on the stern.

The innovative features of these ships will noticeably improve safety, comfort and respect for the environment. The contract with Armas represents six million work hours for the Ria de Vigo area. As for the Canary Islands shipping company, on the other hand, the new units will lead to the creation of 400 jobs.

The fiscal benefits and profitability of the sector have attracted the attention of banks, savings banks and businessmen from other sectors, who have joined the financing of its business operations. Hijos de J. Barreras is one of the shipyards receiving investments from institutions such as the Banco Pastor, Caixanova, and the Banco Gallego. The funds are channelled by means of Economic Interest Groups, whose fiscal benefits have contributed to the start-up of more than 20 of these kinds of companies, operating in different parts of Spain. (Source: El País).
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