Thursday, 26 January 2023

Brodotrogir Cruise Confident in Securing Jobs for Both 2023 and 2024

January the 26th, 2023 - The Croatian shipbuilding industry has been unstable for several years now, but Brodotrogir Cruise has confidently stated that the company hopes to fully secure contracted work for both this year and next year soon.

As Marija Brnic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, state guarantees for shipbuilding are increasingly rare items on the table at government sessions, and the first one this year was approved for Danko Koncar's Trogir shipyard.

After restructuring with state support and then new settlement processes through pre-bankruptcy procedures, shipbuilding on the Trogir peninsula now takes place through the company Brodotrogir Cruise, but in a significantly reduced scope and within an even more significantly altered market niche.

The former trend of the construction of large chemical tankers, which dominated the entire Trogir area, has been replaced by the construction of small cruisers, yachts and workboats for fishing. This is how the new guarantee of the Ministry of Finance was issued for the second phase of the started construction, a fishing boat for Norwegian clients.

The state has already followed Brodotrogir's cooperation with the Norwegian Moen Marina with a guarantee issued back at the end of 2021, for one vessel (Nov. 369) and the construction of the hull for the other (Nov. 370), and these two contracted constructions have now been completed, and the equipment guarantee has been approved for the second ship (Nov. 370), for which the hull was built back during the first phase.

For the completion of construction, the Croatian Government approved a guarantee of four million euros, which is 80 percent of the entire value of the contracted work. The condition for the implementation of this state guarantee is, among other things, the return of the guarantee for the loan from HBOR, which was previously issued to Brodotrogir for the first phase of that project, more specifically for the construction of the hull, which amounted to 0.5 million euros.

Brodotrogir, unlike the much larger shipyards located in Split, Rijeka and Pula, is undergoing a new phase of recovery more quickly and quietly, and that, at least according to Brodotrogir Cruise Board member Mateo Tramontana, exclusively thanks to its own resources.

"Our companies went through a pre-bankruptcy settlement, and everything coincided with the coronavirus pandemic that hit our business hard. The main problem was that we lost jobs, but we had no loans and obligations, we sold a marina and two tankers, and made the decision to preserve the backbone of the shipyard and, in simple terms, to cover ourselves for as long as we could,'' explained Tramontana.

The lack of jobs is also visible in the financial results for the pandemic-dominated year of 2021, in which the shipyard experienced a large drop in revenue, which fell to a mere 17 million kuna, and a serious loss of 10.6 million kuna was also recorded.

However, Tramontana noted that at the end of that year alone, their business situation began to improve, and in the last year, according to him, twice as much income was achieved and the year ended with a profit of around two million kuna. Brodotrogir's manager is convinced that 2023 will be a much more successful business year.

In the order book, Brodotrogir Cruise already has five service ships scheduled for the Norwegians, one yacht for a Croatian company whose founder is from Switzerland, another yacht for a Croatian client and several more constructions in their more advanced stages of contracting.

"Over the next month or two, we'll have secured jobs for the whole of 2023 and 2024," Tramontana pointed out, for whom the big change in business is the fact that the company has been managing to secure financing for the majority of new jobs itself, without needing to rely on state guarantees.

Brodotrogir Cruise otherwise currently employs 150 workers and cooperates with around 15 subcontractors.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Saturday, 4 June 2022

First Fair of Traditional Wooden Shipbuilding is Being Held on Murter

June 4, 2022 - The first fair of traditional wooden shipbuilding is being held in Betina on the island of Murter. Numerous events were prepared in three days, from a panel discussion on the future of wooden shipbuilding to a regatta and a presentation of old ship crafts.

''Nothing can be replaced by wood, as long as there is wood in the mountain, the ship can last until then'', says Ante Njemac Balin. Ante is ninety years old and the oldest is the Betina caulk, reports HRT News. He says that he also worked abroad in the shipyard of iron ships, but the wooden ones are unrivaled.

And just as an honor and thanks to all Betina shipbuilders, a fair of traditional wooden shipbuilding was organized. As a place to connect all shipbuilders and equipment manufacturers for these wooden beauties, but also the presentation of the entire island heritage.

''There are also our family members, presenting local food and drinks because all this together makes a beautiful tourist product, but it is actually a question of local identity, said Mirela Bilic, marketing manager of the Museum of Betina wooden shipbuilding.

''The education system, awarding concessions to traditional crafts is now up to state institutions and we believe that they are the ones who need to start and stabilize wooden shipbuilding, start the young generation and give them hope that there is a future in wooden shipbuilding, said Marinka Fržop, president of Betinska gajeta 1740.

''There is work, you just need to be creative and look around a little for it, and when it comes to the market, you need to be economical. We're required to be both traders and craftsmen, and it's difficult to incorporate that, but the Internet is there today - to make a living,'' says Ljubomir Ante Fržop, a Betina traditional wooden shipbuilder.

A handful of events are planned for the three days of the fair - from traditional craft workshops to the regatta of wooden traditional boats, and of this is being done as a kind of ode to Betina, along with Korčula, the most famous and oldest seat of excellent shipbuilders.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Thursday, 10 February 2022

Award-Winning Batana Museum in Rovinj to Reopen in April 2022

February 10th, 2022 - Surely one of the most charming cultural attractions in Croatia, the museum dedicated to Rovinj’s traditional 'batana' boats is set to reopen after a two-year renovation


The award-winning House of Batana in Rovinj closed its doors in late 2019 so that the building could undergo a series of renovation works. As reported by TCN at the time, the attraction was set to transform into a 21st-century museum and get a new exhibit that was to be fully digitized.

Two years later, the museum has got a new facade and fixtures, and the only thing left to do is for the new permanent exhibit to be installed in its place. If all goes according to plan, the attraction is supposed to reopen in April 2022, reports

In 2016, the Batana Ecomuseum project was inscribed in the UNESCO’s World Register of Good Safeguarding Practices. It was recognised for its unique approach to preservation of the tangible and intangible heritage of Rovinj, based on local initiatives and expert-led development projects. Read more about the old exhibit in our dedicated feature.

The traditional wooden vessel gets its name after the Italian verb battere (hit, beat), associated with the sound of waves hitting the flat bottom of the boat. The batana was entered in the Register of Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Croatia in 2008.

The renovation of the museum building cost around 2 million kuna. The equipment and the multimedia fixtures were partially funded through the project Culturecovery Interreg Central Europe, whereas the project Arca Adriatica Interreg Italy-Croatia helped finance the graphic design and multimedia.

Revamped and fully modernised, the House of Batana is supposed to open its doors at the end of April, and visitors can look forward to a number of new attractions; for example, old traditions of Rovinj and its natural heritage will be presented through the use of VR. The new exhibition will tell the story of batana and Rovinj-Rovigno in a modern and inspiring way, pushing its own boundaries and opening new horizons.

The objects from the original permanent exhibit were restored in cooperation with the Rovinj Civic Museum.

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.

Sunday, 17 November 2019

VIDEO: Meet "Ida" - First Diesel-Electric Catamaran from Šibenik Shipyard

The Croatian shipbuilding industry is ailing and in need of urgent help, but not everything is so bleak. While the shipyards in Rijeka and Pula (3 Maj and Uljanik) suffer, one smaller shipyard in Šibenik has produced an impressive vessel. Meet Ida.

As Morski writes on the 16th of November, 2019, "Ida", a working ship for the maintenance of marine organisms, is the first ship with hybrid diesel-electric propulsion built in the historic Dalmatian city of Šibenik, and is also the 100th ship of its kind built for Norway through the Šibenik-based CroNoMar.

The ship was built by workers of the Iskra Shipyard shipyard in Šibenik, which was until recently known as NCP RB Šibenik. It is 13.75 metres long and eight metres wide and is powered by both diesel and electric motors. The ship also has new electrical installations, high capacity batteries, electrical propulsion and cranes, winches and other machines powered solely by electricity, writes the local portal Šibenik News.

It is an innovative vessel designed to reduce emissions and greenhouse gases and was developed for the needs of the Norwegian mariculture sector. Diesel engines, which were the only propulsion of working catamarans, will now be used 75 percent less than previously used to serve fish farms and other marine organisms, that is, only for navigation between shores and farms.

When the boat arrives at the fish farm, the diesel engines are shut off and run only electrically, thus achieving zero emission of gases along the food production zone.

The ship was designed by the Norwegian company Marin Design AS and was built entirely at the Iskra Shipyard in Šibenik. Reducing diesel consumption and reducing greenhouse gas emissions is one of Norway's strategic goals, and for Croatia to begin building hybrid-powered ships is an important technological step that will ensure Croatian shipbuilding is competitive in applying new technologies and building eco-friendly ships.

Watch the video of Ida below:

Make sure to follow our dedicated Made in Croatia page for much more.