It was reported that Italy's Defense Ministry placed a $757 million order
for an aircraft carrier with Fincantieri SpA. The order for the 235-meter long vessel, the biggest warship built in Italy since the second world war, brings the order book at money-losing Fincantieri to 6 trillion lire. Construction will begin next June at La Spezia, in the region of Liguria, and the ship is likely to enter into service in 2007. The ship will reportedly be powered by four gas turbines built by Fiat SpA and General Electric Co.
Separately, it was reported that Fincantieri Chief Executive Pier Francesco Guarguaglini said the company will invest 100 billion lire in the next two years to create a third shipbuilding yard in Genoa. The company is expanding its production capacity as Italy prepares to sell its stake in Fincantieri in the second half of 2001.