Friday, 20 May 2022

Pre-Bankruptcy Proceedings Opened for Brodosplit Shipyard

ZAGREB, 20 May 2022 - Pre-bankruptcy proceedings have been launched for the Brodosplit shipbuilding company, the Split-based dock confirmed to Hina on Friday.

The application for the pre-bankruptcy procedure submitted by Brodosplit itself was received by Split Commercial Court on 27 April.

According to Brodosplit's management, the company found itself in trouble financially because it could not withdraw in full two loans from the Russian VTB bank after it came under Western sanctions due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The loans were to be spent for the completion of two vessels and other expenses.

Pre-bankruptcy proceedings have also been proposed for Brodosplit's owner, the DIV group because it owed HRK 41.69 million as of mid-April.

During March and April, Split Commercial Court held hearings regarding 11 companies within the Split Shipbuilding Industry. 

The court has received dozens of proposals for bankruptcy proceedings against companies connected with the Split Shipbuilding Industry.

Proceedings have been launched to examine conditions for opening possible bankruptcy proceedings in another 25 companies in the group.

For more, check out our politics section.

Saturday, 7 May 2022

FinMin Says Still No Solution For Brodosplit Shipyard

ZAGREB, 7 May 2022 - Finance Minister Zdravko Marić on Saturday denied Brodosplit CEO Tomislav Debeljak's statement that a solution had been found for the shipyard, saying talks are under way and that the situation is very complex.

"Unfortunately... no agreement has been reached," Marić told the press.

He said the Brodosplit situation became even more complex in the past few weeks due to the opening of pre-bankruptcy proceedings. They imply an additional procedural as well as "temporal component" regarding the approval and regime of state aid, he added.

Also, he said, the Finance Ministry has been analysing the technical, legal and financial justification of a protested guarantee request.

Our talks and cooperation with the HBOR (Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development) are in line with that, Marić said, regretting that "such conclusions have been made" based on "certain talks, questions asked and answers given."

He would not say if the situation was closer or farther from an agreement being reached, saying it is still not clear if the business model in question is viable.

Marić said the HBOR had a very responsible approach to its job  and that he was sorry it was exposed to "such pressure" only for showing good will.

Earlier today, Debeljak told N1 television that a meeting was held at the HBOR two days ago, that a solution had been found and that Brodosplit's problem would be solved in three months.

Late in March, the shipyard said €60 million from loans given by the Russian-owned VTB Europe bank it was using to finance the building of two ships had been blocked. The bank is subject to restrictions due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Brodosplit asked the government to support a proposal that the loans be rescheduled with HBOR funds. One loan would be repaid by the end of the year and the other over a longer period of time, which would allow the shipyard to operate normally.

Earlier this week, Debeljak filed a second pre-bankruptcy motion for Brodosplit after the first one was dismissed due to procedural error.

According to unofficial reports, HBOR is willing to lend the money to Brodosplit pending a government decision.

For more, check out our business section.

 

Monday, 11 April 2022

Brodosplit Should Construct Half a Billion Dollar Luxury Vessel This Year

April the 11th, 2022 - The well known Croatian shipyard Brodosplit should be responsible for the construction of a massive luxury vessel which would boast apartments on board and be worth half a billion euros.

As Morski writes, imagine living in an apartment aboard a luxury ship and sailing the world's seas and oceans. It sounds like a futuristic scenario or like something out of a film, but it is a reality and it should start taking shape this year - and right here on Croatian soil. The British company Storylines plans to build a residential ship worth more than half a billion euros, and it will be built by Croatian hands at Brodosplit.

The construction of the Narrative - one of the most luxurious residential ships in the entire world - should start right here in the Republic of Croatia this year, with 547 residences ranging from one to four bedrooms. The most expensive boat apartment will cost 7.1 million euros, and the apartments will be rented out - for about 350 thousand euros for a period of 12 or 24 months, writes Skveranka.

The Storylines company behind the ship says the ship that Brodosplit will be in charge of building will have 20 restaurants and bars, three swimming pools, an art studio, a bowling alley and a pet/animal exercise area, and fitness enthusiasts will have a running track, a gym and a yoga studio at their disposal, as well as golf simulators.

The most innovative aspect of the design is the water-level marina deck where passengers will be able to use jet skis or kayaks, or simply dive down into the sea below when the gigantic vessel is moored.

The ship is currently in the design and engineering phase

It will be, as they pointed out from Storylines, the most luxurious residential ship that will enables the citizen of the world to live a healthy and active life full of freedom and adventure, all while maintaining their work and family life. A life in which they can enjoy unique, unforgettable life-changing experiences as they travel the world from the comfort of their homes.

Narrative is expected to sail the world every 1,000 days, stopping for a few nights in most ports. Residents will be able to come and go as they please, invite friends on board to stay or rent their apartments when they are not at sea.

Storylines points out that Narrative, which will operate on cleaner liquefied natural gas, is now in the design and engineering phase, and that the first steel should be cut later this year at the Brodosplit shipyard.

''We're excited to work together with the Croatian shipyard Brodosplit in Split on our first private residential ship which will be called MV Narrative. It was important for us to build a ship here in Europe and we're delighted with the partnership with Brodosplit on the project,'' said Storylines co-founder Shannon Lee.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Friday, 1 April 2022

Economy Minister Says Brodosplit Shipyard in Somewhat More Complex Situation

ZAGREB, 1 April (2022) - Economy Minister Tomislav Ćorić said on Friday that the government and the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development are always ready to cooperate with shipyards, but "the current problems at Brodosplit are somewhat more complex" than what has been presented in the public.

Addressing the press after a conference on the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NPOO), Ćorić said that Brodosplit had undergone successful restructuring, which had cost the state budget HRK 1.5 billion.

The minister also explained that the DIV Group, of which Brodosplit is a member, had taken the positive course, however, the progress was overshadowed by the corona crisis and the repercussions of Russia's military aggression against Ukraine.

"The issue of shipbuilding in Split is not simple and should considered from several points of view," says Ćorić, adding that he is nevertheless optimistic that Croatia's shipbuilding industry stands good chances.

The president of the management board of the DIV Group and the Brodosplit shipyard said on Thursday the company was suspending production because €60 million of its funds were currently blocked. Speaking to Hina, Tomislav Debeljak said Brodosplit was financing the building of two ships with funds from VTB Europe, a Russian-owned bank subject to considerable restrictions due to the war in Ukraine.

"The situation we are in is extremely dramatic because VTB has stopped further loan payments because of the war in Ukraine, which has blocked us," Debeljak said, noting that €60 million of the company's funds were "trapped" in those projects.

A member of the DIV Group Management Board, Darko Pappo, said today at the conference which was attended by Ćorić that that DIV was very much affected by the current situation because two major projects were financed by the Russian-owned bank, with EU sanctions against Russia having prevented the completion of the projects and their refinancing.

"We are talking about two loans amounting to €90 million, with our share totalling around €60 million. That is a huge amount of money and this has made us suspend production," Pappo said.

He added that he expected the government to make decisions fast to help the shipbuilding group overcome the situation. The executive also said that there were end-buyers for both projects, contracts on long-term lease and a repayment schedule, and that, even though state aid is not necessary, the situation requires a prompt government reaction.

The government should support DIV's proposal for the loans to be refinanced with HBOR (Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development) funding under commercial terms, and one of the loans should be fully repaid by the end of the year while the other would be repaid over a longer period of time, said Pappo.

"That would ensure the continuation of production and normal functioning," he said, adding that both the Brodosplit shipyard and DIV Group operate in the black and employ a large number of workers, which is why they believe the government and HBOR should step in.

Pappo recalled that the recent case of Sberbank showed that a prompt reaction by the government was possible.

For more, check out our politics section.

Friday, 1 April 2022

Economy Minister Believes 2022 Will Be Year of Further Growth

ZAGREB, 1 April (2022) - Economy and Sustainable Development Minister Tomislav Ćorić said on Friday he believed the year 2022 would see a further growth of the national economy.

"I believe that the Croatian economy will show in 2022, just as it did in 2021, the kind of resilience that opened the door to convergence towards the EU average," Ćorić said at a meeting of exporters, organised by Lider business weekly.

Recalling Croatia's growth rate of more than 10% in 2021, the minister said that this year could be like that as well. "That is our goal and I believe that with good exporters, we can make it happen," he said.

Croatian exporters share the fate of all European exporters who are in any way connected with the Russian Federation, while the situation is somewhat easier for exporters with diversified portfolios, whose business is not predominantly oriented to Russia, he said.

Croatia does not have too many companies that are exposed to the Russian market, he said, adding that the current situation could be overcome by companies expanding their market to other European countries, while the government would help by facilitating competition, primarily by enabling greater energy efficiency and lower production costs.

Ćorić announced a HRK 1.9 billion tender to be published by the end of Q2 referring to energy efficiency, which should help the manufacturing industry increase its capacity.

Some of the exporters have liquidity problems due to a decline in business in the Russian Federation, he said, noting that the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) would step in.

DIV Group: Situation requires rapid response

Answering questions from the press, a member of the DIV Group Management Board, Darko Pappo, said that DIV was very much affected by the current situation because two major projects were financed by a Russian-owned bank, with EU sanctions against Russia having prevented the completion of the projects and their refinancing.

"We are talking about two loans amounting to €90 million, with our share totalling around €60 million. That is a huge amount of money and this has made us suspend production," he said, adding that he expected the government to make decisions fast to help the shipbuilding group overcome the situation.

He added that there were end-buyers for both projects, contracts on long-term lease and a repayment schedule, and that, even though state aid is not necessary, the situation requires a prompt government reaction.

The government should support DIV's proposal for the loans to be refinanced with HBOR funding under commercial terms, and one of the loans should be fully repaid by the end of the year while the other would be repaid over a longer period of time, he said.

"That would ensure the continuation of production and normal functioning," he said, adding that both the Brodosplit shipyard and DIV Group operate in the black and employ a large number of workers, which is why they believe the government and HBOR should step in.

Pappo recalled that the recent case of Sberbank showed that a prompt reaction by the government was possible.

AD Plastik focusing on new deals 

Marinko Došen, Management Board chair of plastic car parts manufacturer AD Plastik, said the revenue from the Russian market accounted for 20-25% of total revenue and that the company's two factories in Russia were currently not operating and there was no information on when they could resume operation.

AD Plastik is an export-oriented company, focusing on new deals and expanding to markets where it will be able to operate, Došen said.

As for the rise in energy costs, he said that the cost of energy products had gone up significantly for all businesses and that state aid would be welcome as it would also help them cover the cost of labour for markets that were currently inaccessible.

For more, check out our business section.

Friday, 25 February 2022

Electric Passenger Sailing Ship Being Constructed at Brodosplit

February the 25th, 2022 - The well known Croatian shipyard Brodosplit is busy with the construction of an innovative, modern electric passenger sailing ship.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, this week at the Brodosplit shipyard, the consolidation and joining of the sheets and the construction of sections for a passenger sailboat with zero exhaust emissions, for which electric motors will be the main drive, began.

This zero-emissions passenger vessel will be 63.5 metres long, 10 metres wide, 5.35 metres high to the main deck, and will be able to accommodate up to 24 passengers. The hull and superstructure will be made of steel, and the masts will be made of aluminum alloy.

When not using the sails, the ship will be powered by two 150 kW electric motors each powered by a system of batteries that are continuously charged from different sources, and when it reaches a speed of six knots, it will only need 60 kilowatts of power, which is quite an inconspicuous amount of power for a 500 GT boat.

The ship will be equipped with 30 tonnes of batteries with a capacity of max 2300 kWh, but due to regulatory requirements it will also have two diesel units that will be turned on only in case of need or in an emergency. According to DIV, which owns the famous Brodosplit shipyard, the very idea of ​​a zero-emission sailing ship came several years ago and with the growth and advancement of the DIV group in the field of new technologies has matured to today's realisation.

They stated from Brodosplit that work on the project began back in early 2020, and is being co-financed by European Union (EU) funds.

For more, make sure to check out Made in Croatia.

Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Contracts Signed for Brodosplit to Construct Two €200 Million Vessels

January the 12th, 2022 - The famous Split shipyard under Tomislav Debeljak, Brodosplit, has got its hands on two very valuable new contracts to construct ships in 2022.

The world of Croatian shipbuilding has been suffering since long before the coronavirus pandemic struck and caused an extended period of domestic and global economic gloom. The likes of Uljanik and Maj 3 in Pula and Rijeka dominated the headlines for months on end due to their enfeebled state and attempts from the state to get things moving again.

With strikes because of wages not being paid to employees for months on end and deadlines missed taking place, domestic shipbuilding, which once held a high place on what Croatia could traditionally rely on doing and doing well, had slipped far down the list.

Brodosplit wasn't immune to shipyard and shipbuilding related issues either, but it did, on the whole, perform far better than poor Uljanik did. It seems 2022 is starting out well for Debeljak's firm, as well.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, a new beginning of another brand new year is upon it and with it has come a very welcome new chance for Brodosplit. The well-known shipbuilding company has signed contracts to build two large vessels worth more than 200 million euros. The two ships are a luxury megayacht and another polar cruiser, for which Brodosplit has made quite a name.

This is of course fantastic news with which to kick off 2022 from the famous Split shipyard, which has, as stated previously, been struggling with a lack of work and liquidity in these pandemic-dominated last couple of years, which is why the payment of salaries has unfortunately been being delayed for months.

''We're sure that we will meet the deadlines that are due in the year 2025. One ship is 125 metres long, extravagant in its various aspects and for only 12 passengers and 50 crew members. The polar cruiser on the other hand is is 110 metres long, and will be intended for 152 passengers and 111 crew members,'' Dino Donjerkovic, Brodosplit's sales director, told HRT.

For more, check out our dedicated business section.

Friday, 2 July 2021

Ćorić: Vaccination Only Way We Can All Be Responsible

ZAGREB, 2 July 2021 - Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Tomislav Ćorić said on Friday that vaccination is the only way we can all be responsible and that, if the tourism season fails, it will not be possible to find the necessary funding for all the needs in the years to come.

"Our economy is in the process of recovering, but it is highly dependant on tourism. If the tourism season fails, there is no magic wand with which we will be able to find additional funds to finance our needs, this year and in the years to come. That is why we all have to be responsible towards the country we live in and its economy, particularly to the most vulnerable groups of citizens. The only way for us to be responsible together is to be vaccinated," said Ćorić.

Asked about the possibility that entrepreneurs will have to be vaccinated if they are to receive aid, and whether this has been discussed with entrepreneurs, Ćorić said that that would be a responsible move.

Ćorić said that Croatia had the lowest percentage of inoculation of all Mediterranean countries.

"Anyone who is responsible should be rewarded and those who aren't should be subjected to criticism from the rest of us," he said. "Benefits should be linked to responsible behaviour above all."

Asked about the situation at the Brodosplit shipyard and whether workers should fear for their wages or dismissal, Ćorić said that the workers would fight for their rights.

"Brodosplit is a private company on the market. There are several companies within that conglomeration. According to information received, some of them have had their accounts blocked. Some of the problems are being resolved and I hope that Brodosplit, with more than 2,000 workers, will continue operating," he said.

The situation at Brodosplit is a reflection of the situation on the global market as many shipyards have lost ground to the competition, above all, China, he said.

"Want we want is that workers get their wages. That is what the government wants," Ćorić said.

He recalled that the government had bailed out shipbuilding for years through state guarantees on loans.

"One of the preconditions for guarantees was that all obligations to the Tax Administration had been settled," he underscored.

Ćorić was attending  the EveryDayGreen campaign at the Rijeka farmer's market dedicated to reducing the use of plastic packaging.

The campaign is aimed at reducing the use of disposable plastic packaging and promoting the purchase of fresh produce on the occasion of Planet Day.

For more news, CLICK HERE

Thursday, 10 June 2021

Largest Square-rigged Cruise Ship Departs From Brodosplit Dock

ZAGREB, 10 June 2021 - SV Golden Horizon, a steel-hulled five-masted rigged tall ship, which is intended to be used as a cruise ship, left the Brodosplit shipyard on Wednesday, the Split-based dock reported on Wednesday afternoon.

The  Brodosplit company that built the vessel reported on its website that "this luxurious vessel can accommodate up to 272 passengers and will provide the service under the Tradewind Voyages from the UK."

"As far as itineraries are concerned, it is designed for voyages according to 'where the wind and sea currents take it."

The clipper is 162 meters long and 18.5 meters wide. It has five masts with 36 cross sails with a total area of ​​6,347 square meters. The vessel's carrying capacity is  2,000 tons.

On Wednesday also, the unfinished "Onega Gulf" oil/chemical tanker was towed to the Split dock for finalization.

For the latest news from Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 24 January 2021

Brodosplit Will Build the World's Largest Electric-Powered Sailing Ship

January 24, 2021 - Brodosplit will build the world's largest electric-powered sailing ship, leaving no carbon footprint in the environment.

Slobodna Dalmacija writes that stemming from the electric-powered river tram, an idea borne by Željko Hederić and the team from Osijek's FERIT, the world's largest electric-powered sailing ship with three masts should bear fruit in Split. 

Brodosplit will soon begin constructing a three-masted schooner, a completely eco-friendly ship that will be powered by electric motors, while the batteries will be charged by sailing, leaving no carbon footprint in the environment.

It is even more impressive that this is a project for developing a ship propulsion system from the IRI2 program, for which the European Union has co-financed 60 percent of the value. However, those responsible have not stated the amounts in question.

The project is lead by the DIV Group, which owns the Split shipyard, and partners from the scientific research community, including FERIT and Split FESB. Work on the project began almost a year ago - last February, and will last a total of three and a half years.

"Split has already made "Klara," a classic three-masted schooner, but they also wanted something more modern, and they wanted to improve the project. We, on the other hand, developed the "river tram" project at the faculty in Osijek, because we have the Drava. And you have the sea! Everything is based on the principle of using hydrokinetic energy," says Hederic.

Namely, water flows through a standing turbine and converts hydropower into electricity. In the case of this ship, the sea “stands,” and the sailboat goes, pushed by the force of the wind in the sails. Of course, the screw or propeller spins, creating electricity. The professor says that in this way - from wind energy, i.e., sails as a turbine that drives the ship - you can get four to six knots of the ship's relative speed, which gives torque to the rotation of the bolt like a generator turbine.

Thus, hydrokinetic recovery of wind energy into battery electricity.

"For example, the wind gives the ship energy for a speed of ten knots, and we reduce it to six knots and save the difference in the battery. I call it - plowing the sea. From our scientific ideas, engineers will perform a technical solution," points out the Osijek professor.

When it is not using sails, the ship will be powered by two electric motors, each with a power of 150 kilowatts. They will be powered by a system of batteries that are continuously charged from various sources. When it reaches a sailing speed of six knots, the ship will need only 60 kilowatts of power, which is a relatively imperceptible power for a vessel of 500 gross tons, explained Brodosplit.

The ship will be equipped with 30 tons of batteries, whose capacity, figuratively speaking, is like having 60 Tesla cars. More precisely, it has a total of a maximum of 2300 kilowatt-hours, which ensures more than 50 hours of cruising exclusively on stored electricity when there is no wind.

Due to navigation safety, the ship will have two diesel units that would be turned on only if needed but will be more likely to rust from non-use, they emphasized.

What will set the Split sailing ship apart from similar vessels is that the vessel will charge its batteries when sailing but in a very ingenious way. A system of the already mentioned ship propellers with variable pitch and special wing geometry will be used, which will - for sailing - serve as a hydro turbine.

Brodosplit explains that this "reversible screw" will charge the batteries in the lower deck.

All relevant information will be collected and supervised on the bridge, or command center. From meteorological data, so that the commander knows where the wind is most favorable, to all other ship systems and propulsion, electricity supply in batteries, engine operation, solar panels, wind farms, hot water, and energy consumption.

"All "revenues" and "expenditures" of energy on the ship will be managed and controlled from one place," said the Split shipyard.

Experts from Split FESB, led by Branko Klarin, work on the sailing system and its robotics, wind turbines, and photovoltaic panels. At the sailboat's bow and stern, two vertical wind turbines are planned to supply the ship with electricity while in port or at anchor.

A photovoltaic solar power plant will be installed on the roof of the superstructure. Klarin's team will address how to extract and store heat from a solar photovoltaic power plant by cooling the panels to be more efficient in producing electricity. Photovoltaic panels work most efficiently at a temperature of 20 degrees Celsius, but on their surface, on sunny days, it can be as high as 80 degrees, so excess heat can be used to heat water.

Thus, the sailboat will be supplied with electricity, heat, and water from entirely renewable sources: all the energy will be obtained without any carbon dioxide emissions.

"In short, there are no costs for fuel and power supply of propulsion machines, as well as all devices inside the ship, air conditioning, and kitchen," concludes Hederić, emphasizing that electric drive is three times more efficient than diesel.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

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