Monday, October 18, 2021

Multi-Million Dollar Investment to Create New Shipyard Facility

European Headquartered Group Expands its Portfolio
Shipping News Feature

MEXICO – ITALY – Having signed a letter of intent in late 2020 with the Ministry of Economic Development and Labour of the Yucatán State to throw itself behind a plan to develop facilities at the Port of Progreso, this week the Italian shipbuilding group Fincantieri has put it corporate money where its mouth is.

Although not yet confirmed on the group website, local politicians announced that the company is to fulfil its commitment to design and construct the biggest shipyard in the whole of Latin America. Reported cost to the company will be $220 million, $70 million over the original published budget first tranche, but with an overall three stage payment scheme for $550 million.

According to Yucatan Governor Mauricio Vila, who visited the Fincantieri headquarters in Trieste recently, the port will benefit from a 400 metre long dry port to service incoming vessels. Progreso is strategically located at the northernmost tip of the Yucatan peninsula, at 37 kilometres or less than an hour’s drive from Merida, the capital and largest city in Yucatan.

Currently the Port of Progreso has only one major container terminal, Terminal de Contenedores de Yucatán, which is run by Maersk offshoot APM Terminals having acquired it from Grup TCB, and a principal link to the US markets. The new investment has been hailed as a beneficial move to support current operations and as bringing more employment for up to 500 people in the area.

Despite the battle between Asian countries for primacy in the role of merchant shipbuilders Fincantieri, one of the oldest shipbuilders in the world having 230 years of experience under its corporate belt, has built up its empire of late with the acquisition in the last 15 years of the Norwegian offshore specialist Vard and sizeable asset purchases in the UAE, the US and France.

With an assortment of around twenty shipyards spread around the globe in Asia, Europe and the Americas the Italian group is set to maintain a prominent position in an industry renown for its risk and pressures.

Photo: APM’s Terminal de Contenedores de Yucatán, courtesy of APM Terminals.