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Friday, March 23, 2018

France News

World’s Largest Cruise Ship Delivered

Symphony of the Seas, built by STX France for Royal Caribbean, has taken over as world’s largest cruise ship (Photo: Royal Caribbean)

At 362 meters long, 66 meters wide and 70 meters high, Royal Caribbean’s new 228,081 GRT cruise ship takes the “world’s largest” title. Mega ship Symphony of the Seas was delivered today to owner Royal Caribbean International from French shipbuilder STX France who has been constructing the vessel since 2015. The new cruise liner, which boasts 18 decks total with capacity for 6,800 passengers in 2,747 staterooms and is crewed by more than 2,000 staff members, takes the size crown from her slightly smaller sister vessel, Harmony of the Seas.

Greece Concludes Sale of 67% Stake in Thessaloniki Port

© bestravelvideo / Adobe Stock

Greece concluded the sale of 67 percent stake in Thessaloniki port, the country's second-largest, to a German-led consortium, its privatisations agency (HRADF) said on Friday. Deutsche Invest and its partners, France's Terminal Link SAS and Cyprus-based Belterra Investments, signed the deal in December. The sale is part of a privatisation scheme Greece has agreed under its latest international bailout. The deal is worth 1.1 billion euros, HRADF said, and the consortium has already…

Capsized Cargo Ship Towed to Le Havre

(Photo: PREMAR Manche)

The hull of capsized cargo ship Britannica Hav has been towed to the Port of Le Havre following a collision with a fishing vessel earlier this week in the English Channel. The 82-meter freighter arrived in port Thursday under the tow of rescue tug RIAS Abeille Liberté and several escort vessels. The Maltese flagged Britannica Hav capsized and overturned Tuesday after a collision with Belgian flagged fishing vessel Deborah about 50 nautical miles northeast of Cherbourg, France. The freighter’s seven crew members evacuated the ship aboard two life rafts and were recovered by the fishing vessel.

Future Frigates: Naval Group Starts Equipment Acquisition

Image: Naval Group

Naval Group has started to select the first equipment suppliers for the five future intermediate-size frigates (FTI) intended for the French Ministry of Defense. In the framework of the execution of the contract awarded by the French Defence Procurement Agency in April 2017, Naval Group initiated its process of selecting the program's industrial suppliers for the five future intermediate-size frigates, the first of which will be delivered to the French Navy in 2023. "We expect a lot from our suppliers," said Frédéric Massa, Director of Naval Group Purchasing.

Merkel, Hollande Say Further Sanctions Against Russia Loom

Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande

Germany and France will draw the "appropriate consequences" if the May 25 election in Ukraine does not go ahead as planned, Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande said in a joint statement issued on Saturday. In their statement, the two leaders said: "If there is not an internationally recognised presidential election, that would lead unavoidably to a further destabilisation of the country. That is a clear reference to the third stage of sanctions, especially economic sanctions against Russia, that European Union leaders agreed on March 6.

ADNOC Signs Major Offshore Concession Agreements with Total

Image: Abu Dhabi National Oil Company

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has signed agreements with Total of France, awarding them stakes in two of Abu Dhabi’s new offshore concessions. Under the terms of the agreements, Total has been awarded a 20% interest in the Umm Shaif and Nasr concession and a 5% interest in the Lower Zakum concession. Total is ADNOC’s largest and one of its longest international partners, active in Abu Dhabi’s oil and gas sector since 1939. Today, the French super-major collaborates with ADNOC across the value chain…

Overturned Cargo Ship in Tow in the English Channel

(Photo: Marine Nationale)

The hull of an overturned cargo ship that collided with a fishing vessel is being towed out of the way of shipping lanes in the English Channel. The Maltese flagged cargo ship Britannica Hav capsized after it was involved in a collision Tuesday with Belgian flagged fishing vessel Deborah about 50 nautical miles northeast of Cherbourg, France. The freighter’s seven crew members evacuated the ship aboard two life rafts and were recovered by Deborah. The only reported injury was to the fishing vessel’s captain, who suffered a non-severe head injury and did not wish to be evacuated.

Naval Group Engages KBR in SEA1000 Project

Photo: Naval Group Australia

Naval Group has formally signed a Design Services Subcontract (DSSC) with local engineering company, KBR, to assist with the concept design of the proposed Future Submarine (SEA1000) construction yard at the Osborne Naval Shipbuilding precinct in South Australia. The submarine construction yard concept design will include the facilities and infrastructure required to construct a fleet of twelve regionally superior Future Submarines for the Royal Australian Navy. Through the DSSC…

France Buys into STX Europe

The French Republic became a 33.34 percent shareholder in STX France and its shipyards in Saint-Nazaire and Lorient. STX Europe is a builder of cruise ships and ferries, with a market share of 35 - 40 percent. The company builds cruise ships at its yards in France and Finland. The French yards also have experience with navy vessels. Other shipyards in STX Europe are build specialized offshore vessels. The new agreement between STX Europe and the French Republic is a realization of the memorandum of understanding announced by the two parties on June 12, 2008. The French Republic will acquire the 33.34 percent interest in STX France via an equity investment of $139.7m which is expected to be made on November 7, 2008.

Rohr Dredge Continues European Expansion

Rohr International Dredge Holdings, Inc. announced that it acquired Eurl Rohr France, including its current backlog, inventory and all associated intellectual property (IPR), on July 23, 2014. Rohr France, which is based in Betting, France, was a Rohr licensee and will continue at the same location, operating as a subsidiary of Rohr Bagger GmbH, a subsidiary of Rohr International Dredge Holdings, Inc. Rohr France has been a Rohr distributor and service center for over 10 years for its Land Based and Floating Bucket Ladder dredges, Clamshell dredges and conveyors to the mining industry in France. Eng. Samuel Pichowska will be the new General Manager for Rohr France and comes to Rohr France from Hazemag, a provider of engineering and equipment solutions for the mineral processing industry.

France: "Multiple STX Shareholder" Solution Preferred

France wants a "multiple shareholder" solution to STX France, the shipbuilding company being sold off, French President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday. "We are working with the aim that the state can remain a minority shareholder, we want a multiple shareholder solution," Hollande said, speaking at a news conference held with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni. Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has made a bid for STX France, but France - which owns 33 percent of the company - wants to ensure that the French state remains a key stakeholder in the firm. The head of French state-controlled military shipbuilder DCNS also said last week it was "very likely" that DCNS - in which Thales has a minority stake - would enter into the capital of STX France.

DP World Chairman meets French President at Investment Summit

The President of France, Francois Hollande, HE Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World and senior government and business leaders at the investment summit. Photo DP World

DP World Group Chairman and CEO HE Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem recently met the President of France, Francois Hollande and senior government and business leaders at a major investment summit at the Élysée Palace in Paris. France’s attractiveness as an investment location and DP World’s projects in the country were highlights of the discussions which also covered infrastructure development, port centric development, distribution and export hubs, rail freight, customs, and other logistics topics.

France: STX France talks with Fincantieri to Continue

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock)

French industry minister Christophe Sirugue said he would meet Italy's Fincantieri in a week's time to discuss its bid for STX France, but added France was still against Fincantieri gaining dominance in the governance of STX France. "Our position is that we do not want Fincantieri to be the sole majority shareholder in the governance of Saint-Nazaire shipyards," Sirugue told Reuters on Friday, speaking on the sidelines of a news conference in Paris. "We continue to work with Fincantieri and we will probably have to meet again in a week's time".

Macron, Gentiloni Discussing STX, Libya, Migration

Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni received a "friendly" phone call on Thursday from French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss the STX France shipyard, Libya and immigration, Gentiloni's office said. Relations between the two EU allies has been strained this month by a number of issues, including France's decision to block a bid by Italian state-owned shipbuilder Fincantieri to buy a controlling stake in STX France. Rome has also felt slighted by France's diplomatic moves in Libya and annoyed by Macron's refusal to take in migrants who have poured across the Mediterranean into Italy in recent years.   Reporting by Crispian Balmer

DP World Eyes France

Image: Générale de Manutention Portuaire (GMP)

France is an attractive investment location for DP World’s projects related to infrastructure development, port centric development, distribution and export hubs, rail freight, customs, and other logistics topics, said DP World Group Chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem. He has recently met the President of France, Francois Hollande and senior government and business leaders at a major investment summit at the Élysée Palace in Paris. Bin Sulayem outlined DP World's contribution to global trade…

Naval Group Shipbuilding Posts Higher Profit

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Burnell11)

French shipbuilding and defence company Naval Group, in which Thales owns a 35 percent stake, reported a surge in 2017 profits and expressed confidence over its outlook for 2018.   Naval Group, formerly known as DCNS, designs and produces France's submarines and surface ships.   The company said on Thursday that its 2017 earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) had risen 68.5 percent from a year ago to 172.7 million euros ($211 million).   It added it expected further profit growth in 2018.   Reporting by Dominique Rodriguez 

France Sees Quick Accord on STX, Sees Naval Deal Taking Longer

(File photo: STX France)

France hopes for agreement over the future of the STX France shipyards at a Franco-Italian summit on Sept. 27, but a separate deal on warship co-operation would take longer to negotiate, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Thursday. "I would like us to have an agreement between the French and Italian governments on STX for the summit on September 27," Le Maire told reporters after a meeting with suppliers in the aerospace sector. France clashed with Italy in July after ordering a "temporary" nationalisation of STX…

France, Italy Agree on STX Shipyard Ownership Split

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Carabay)

The French and Italian governments have agreed on a shared ownership deal of the STX France shipyards, but with a clause giving France the right to take control if needed, Le Monde newspaper reported. Le Monde reported, citing an adviser to French President Emmanuel Macron, that Italian company Fincantieri could get 51 percent ownership, including a 1 percentage point stake lent to it by France, which France could take back. Italian state-owned shipbuilder Fincantieri declined to comment.

MSC Ships Get Bigger

MSC Divina. Photo courtesy of MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises, the 4th largest cruise line, confirmed the existing STX France options to build an additional two ships in the Meraviglia class. The ships, valued by MSC at $1.7 billion, will be longer and bigger versions of the Meraviglia-class ship, which is scheduled to begin with the 167,600-gross-ton MSC Meraviglia in 2017. MSC now has four firm orders on the books from STX France, plus another three ships at Fincantieri. Furthermore, the two new next-generation ships known as Meraviglia-Plus will feature increased tonnage and overall size…

Fincantieri the Sole Bidder for STX France

Italian shipbuilding and construction group Fincantieri SpA is the only bidder for shipping group STX France, a source close to the matter said on Tuesday. The sale of STX France, which specialises in building cruise ships in the western France city of Saint-Nazaire and is profitable, forms part of the broader sale of businesses from the collapsed STX shipbuilding group. A spokesman for a Korean court overseeing the process had said earlier on Tuesday that one bid had been received for the STX France business, without giving a name. A spokesman for the Seoul court overseeing STX Offshore's receivership had said in November that four parties had expressed interest in buying one or both of South Korea's STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co Ltd and a controlling stake in STX France.

Work in Progress to Expand Dunkirk Box Terminal

Photo: Port of Dunkirk

Container handling in the Port of Dunkirk takes place mainly at the Flanders Terminal. The activity continues to grow steadily, with numbers increasing from 200,000 TEU in 2010 to 375,000 TEU in 2017. In February 2017, to maintain this development and ensure that the world's largest container carriers can be berthed in all sea conditions, the Port of Dunkirk, as Project Owner, launched the building of the Flanders Terminal Extension. This extension will enable the container terminal operator, as of 2019, to berth two new-generation megamax container carriers simultaneously.

France Supports Fincantieri's STX Bid

Hard to say 'Non' to Italian company's bid, says Sirugue; France keen to keep Saint Nazaire site running. A leading French minister expressed support on Wednesday for a bid by Italy's Fincantieri's for shipbuilder STX France, adding that the government would aim to keep the shipbuilder's main site running at Saint Nazaire. "We said we wanted a European, industrial company ... Fincantieri is a European, industrial company. So it would be hard for us to say 'no' to them," French Industry Minister Christophe Sirugue told RMC Radio. The sale of STX France, which specialises in building cruise ships at the Saint-Nazaire shipyard and is profitable, forms part of a broader sell-off of businesses following the demise of the South Korean STX shipbuilding group.

France to Defend Interests in STX Shipyards

Photo: STX France

The French government has told South Korea it will oppose any solution for shipbuilder STX France that is against national industrial interests, Industry Minister Christophe Sirugue told Reuters on Thursday on the eve of a deadline for bids. STX France is 66.7 percent owned by failed South Korean shipbuilding group STX. An insolvency court in South Korea ruled last month that the French arm could be sold either separately from the parent, or as part of a bigger sale. Bids are due by Nov.

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