Green the future of the shipbuilding industry

By | May 8, 2023

Neorio of Syros, which operates under the control of ONEX, has already repaired, according to company sources, more than 400 ships, that is, one ship every three and a half days.

The Greek shipbuilding industry looks set to write a new chapter in its history after completing the consolidation of its three main shipbuilding units, Elefsina, Skaramanga and Syros, and stimulating activity in other units such as Salamis, Perama and Chalkida. The bet focuses on the role it can play in the transition towards a new generation of greener ships and the parallel increase in shipbuilding activity. In the coming weeks, probably after the first elections, the ruling of the competent court on the validation of the consolidation agreement of Astilleros Elefsina with the strategic investor Astilleros ONEX and financing of the order of 100 million from the US state development bank is expected. DFC. Last month, the transfer of both parts of the Skaramangas Shipyards to the interests of the shipowner Giorgos Prokopi and the gradual improvement of the facilities, the reinforcement of the security and fire extinguishing systems and the reoperation of the large tank that has remained inactive for about 20 years and now it’s running.

Neorio de Syros, which has been cleaning since 2019 and operates under the control of ONEX, has already repaired, according to company sources, more than 400 ships, that is, one ship every three and a half days.

In Perama, according to data released during Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s visit there a few days ago, 70 new ships and vessels with a total tonnage of more than 120,000 gross tons have been built over the past four years, and more than 8,500 ships have been built. been hoisted, maintained and repaired. There, in the 24 Perama shipyards, 520 special companies are active, while 280 special companies are also employed by supporting their activities, which on average employ 17,000 workers each year. In fact, 80% of the turnover is an inflow of foreign currency from foreign shipping companies.

In Perama during the last four years 70 new ships and ships with a total tonnage of more than 120,000 gross tons have been built.

In Salamis, in the “Salamis Shipyards” unit of the interests of G. Koros, hull blocks of the French Belharra frigates are being built, that is, parts of the warships of not only Greece but also France. At the Piraeus Port Authority, the ships docked there have also increased in recent years. A result in part of the increase in the number of ships now approaching Piraeus after COSCO Shipping went live at the container terminal docks.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the Greek shipbuilding industry is making a comeback and trying to reclaim a major role in the Mediterranean. A role that not only focuses on equipment programs, which by their nature can only benefit shipyards for a short time. But what is that role and how can the long-term viability of shipyards be ensured so that the industry does not return to the obsolescence it entered two decades ago? According to the professor of the Polytechnic of the School of Naval Mechanical Engineering, Dimitris V. Lyridis, “the attraction of ships destined for conversions related to alternative fuels, as well as energy saving technologies, the design and “massive” production of new standardized fuels short-distance ships or ships – ferries that will allow economies of scale and reduce production costs” are some of the activities in which the Greek shipyards can play an important role. In addition, as he explains, the construction of floating platforms-bases of wind turbines for floating wind or photovoltaic farms is another perspective.In addition, “the focus on ships with an ecological footprint of the general life cycle, including recycling, should be a priority in units compatible with existing environmental specifications and legislation and future”. For Dimitris Lyridis, “the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies, such as robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT), augmented reality (Industrial Augmented Reality), 3D printing technology (Additive Manufacturing Methods ) and artificial intelligence (AI) will improve their efficiency.”

His statements are somewhat reminiscent of the statements of G. Prokopios during the delivery ceremony of the Scaramgas reception. In the long term, the new owner of the Skaramangas Shipyards identified working on state-of-the-art technologies as an objective, adding, but without going into detail, that he wants to build state-of-the-art ships there, powered by electricity or even without crew. “I’m not interested in gluing sheets, nor can we compete with the big shipyards in Asia,” he said. The shipowner, after clarifying that it is not ruled out that the first client of the shipyards under the new management are ships from a shipping company of his interests, also announced the creation of a natural gas plant, as well as carbon and green capture . methanol production.

“It is an opportunity now that the shipbuilding industry is reborn to also adopt a new strategic and operational model that does not even have to be invented but copied and adapted from other sectors: research and innovation and the teaching of new technologies and practices from education. -research institutions and their closer cooperation with the shipping and shipbuilding industry, as well as incentives (to the extent permitted by the European State Aid Regulation) through a specific state strategy, are the forces that unite the three main pillars of a successful industry (industrial conglomerate) and generate the necessary synergies for the sustainability of perhaps the most Greek industry”, underlines the professor of the Polytechnic Dimitris Lyridis.

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