German Shipyard Sietas Sale Deal in the Balance
Cash-strapped JJ Sietas Group is building a Van Oord liftboat but as a second order is uncomfirmed the yard's future is in doubt.
In June 2012 the creditors’ committee voted in favour of an offer by the VeKa Group of the Netherlands to take over the Sietas shipyard. Despite six months of intensive negotiations, it has not proved possible to complete the deal.
The reason being that the Sietas shipyard currently has only one order for a new construction, a jack-up vessel for offshore wind farms for the Dutch marine engineering company Van Oord. The prospect of a second new construction order of an identical type and the resulting continuing employment of the shipyard was stipulated by VeKa as a condition for the takeover.
However, two weeks ago Van Oord was forced to halt the decision-making process for the construction of the second jack-up vessel, which was due to a delayed investment decision for the EnBW Hohe See offshore wind farm.
As a result of the still on-going political discussion concerning the amendment to Germany’s Energy Industry Act (EnWG) and the associated uncertainties regarding binding dates for the grid connection of offshore wind farms, EnBW has postponed its investment decision for the planned North Sea wind farm. Van Oord’s firm intention had been to order a second jack-up vessel from Sietas and to use it in the construction of the wind farm, and consequently, Van Oord has now disbanded its entire Hohe See project team.
After attending a recent works meeting at the Sietas shipyard, Hamburg’s Senator for Economy Frank Horch said: “After being able to save a lot of the jobs in former subsidiaries Neuenfelder Maschinenfabrik (NMF) and the Norderwerft shipyard, I’m still hopeful that Hamburg will be able to keep the long-established Sietas shipyard.