The Annual Meeting of ASSONAVE, the association of Italian shipbuilders, ship-repairers and producers of marine components and systems took place in Rome recently, chaired by its President, Vincenzo Petrone. Main points as follows:
The Association explains that this was the first meeting to take place after it expanded its membership to include major companies such as Elettronica, Oto Melara, RINA Services, Selex ES and WASS – all operating in high- technology sectors – and welcomed the Federazione del Mare, representing the Italian maritime cluster, as member of its Executive Committee.
A report received by the meeting paints a picture of an increasingly global shipbuilding sector still undergoing a period of transition: demand for new ships more than doubled in 2012 (over 50 million cgt (Compensated Gross Tons) vs 24.7 million in the previous year), but imbalances between demand and productive capacity were reported to remain.
The cruise ship sector continues to thrive, with 9 cruise ship contracts finalized in 2013, six by Fincantieri, which has thus strengthened its presence in the luxury and ultra-luxury ship sector.
In the cruise ship and ferry industries investment decisions are still driven by realism and caution, but the twin needs of optimizing the energy efficiency of fleets and of complying with new environmental regulations sets the stage for increasing demand for a new generation of “green” ships, with low emissions and energy consumption.
In this scenario, the hoped-for greening of the fleet operating in European short sea shipping may be encouraged by the planned development of a network for the distribution of liquefied natural gas
Positive developments were reported in the offshore sector due to Fincantieri’s purchase of STX OSV,(renamed VARD), a leading company in the construction of support vessels for the oil and gas sector.
The military naval market too picked up compared to previous years, although the accessible market portion (only 20 % of the total) increasingly comprises requests for technology transfers and assistance for the in loco building of ships. Therefore, funding for the seventh and eighth units of the programme for FREMM-class frigates and especially the appropriation of funds as set out by the Stability Law for the renewal of part of the surface fleet were particularly welcome.
In the context described above, Fincantieri and other shipbuilders associated with ANCANAP were able to take advantage of the increase in demand, with new orders for a total of over 500,000 cgt (€ 2.2 billion) in 2013 vs 170,000 Cgt (€ 800 million) in the previous year.