State-run Romanian Black Sea shipyard Santierul Naval Constanta expects to cut losses this year and to upgrade facilities to make it more attractive ahead of its sell-off, an official said. "Declining traffic in the Constanta Port last
year, mainly due to the Yugoslav conflict, has affected our 1999 results," Dan Mocanu
, head of the shipyard's privatization department, said.
He said the shipyard had losses of $21.9 million last year, but revived port activity was expected to trim these to $7.8 million by end-2000. "We are expecting increased activity, with more vessels to be repaired and new ones built this year, to cushion part of last year's losses," he said.
Mocanu said the yard, which repairs about 200 ships a year, was expected this year to sign a contract worth about $19 million with Germany
's Ferrostaal Essen and another $12 million contract with Thyssen-Krupp group.
The shipyard has a share capital of around $10.3 million and company officials say it needs an annual $50 million in contracts to operate profitably.