Fincantieri Set to Grow Its Shipbuilding Footprint in Ancona

Fincantieri announced on Monday it has reached a deal that will allow it to expand its shipbuilding footprint in the port of Ancona.

The Italian shipbuilding company said it has signed a program agreement with the Port System Authority of the Central Adriatic Sea (ADSP) to develop the port’s current infrastructure, including construction piers, dry dock, technological and lifting facilities, for the construction of ships of greater size and tonnage, both in the cruise and merchant sector.

The value of the investment is €80 million, of which €40 million is publicly funded: €20 million for the building of a new construction pier and €20 million for the extension of the dry dock, including the securing of the breakwater. The remaining €40 million will come from a private investment by Fincantieri as part of the procedure for the granting of the new state concession for the next 40 years and will concern the development of shipbuilding in the port of Ancona.

The program agreement follows a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for strategic infrastructural investments for the development of shipbuilding in the port of Ancona in 2018 signed by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport and the Authority, and the subsequent ministerial decree with which the public financing of €40 million was approved.

“With the development of the port of Ancona we’re moving into the future with ambition and innovation. This agreement underscores our ability to invest in the Italian system and to create value for the region and the entire shipbuilding sector. It’s an important step: to make things happen resources aren’t enough, you have to actually put them on the ground,” said Fincantieri’s CEO and managing director Pierroberto Folgiero.

ADSP president Vincenzo Garofalo said the agreement and investment “will have a strong impact on the future development prospects of the port of Ancona, with positive economic and social repercussions on the city and the region. Fincantieri, one of the port’s primary operators, has thus reaffirmed its confidence in the possibilities of growth and development of the facility in Ancona and the entire port infrastructure.”

It is understood that Fincantieri, as a leader in the field of cruise ship manufacturing, has a market share of more than 40% in this field, and has built and delivered more than 120 ships since 1990, accounting for more than one-third of the global cruise ship fleet. Currently, the cruise industry is gradually recovering and cruise ship orders are slowly picking up. Recently, Fincantieri has entered into a number of alternative orders for luxury cruise ships, and its cruise ship orders on hand are continuously increasing.

In June this year, Fincantieri signed a construction contract with Marc-Henry Cruise Holdings LTD, the co-owner/operator of Four Seasons Yachts, to build a second ultra-luxury cruise ship for Four Seasons Yachts, with the new ship scheduled for delivery in 2026 and an order value of over 400 million euros (then approximately RMB 3.135 billion). The order is the vessel of option for the 1+2 luxury cruise ship order signed between Fincantieri and Four Seasons in 2022. The first-of-its-kind cruise ship, with an overall length of 207 meters and a width of 27 meters and 14 decks, is scheduled to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2025.

Three months later (September 21), MSC Cruises announced that it has exercised an option with Fincantieri for two hydrogen-powered luxury cruise ships to further expand its luxury cruise brand, Explora Journeys, with the option order coming into effect marking the completion of MSC’s €3.5 billion plan to build six luxury cruise ships for Explora Journeys. The effective date of this option order marks the completion of MSC Cruises’ €3.5 billion program to build six luxury cruise ships for Explora Journeys. The two new ships, EXPLORA V and EXPLORA VI, will be delivered in 2027 and 2028, respectively.

Currently, Explora Journeys’ first cruise ship, EXPLORA I, was delivered by Fincantieri in July 2023 and is currently operating in Northern Europe at a cost of more than €500 million. “EXPLORA II is expected to enter service in the summer of 2024 and will operate in the Mediterranean, the Middle East, the Indian Ocean and Africa until April 2025, traveling to 82 ports in 26 countries. “The LNG-powered EXPLORA III, which began construction on September 6, 2023, is expected to enter service in the summer of 2026. Another LNG-powered cruise ship, the EXPLORA IV, is expected to begin construction in January 2024.

After the succession of cruise ship alternative orders coming into effect, Fincantieri announced that it has been granted a medium- to long-term sustainability-related loan worth €800 million (approximately RMB 6,144 million at the time) to support the accumulating shipbuilding volume. The loan has a five-year term with a three-year pre-amortization period and is 70% backed by a guarantee from SACE, a prestigious insurance and financial group directly regulated by the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Besides cruise orders, the shipbuilding group was also awarded a contract in October this year for the construction of an LNG-powered RoPax ro-ro passenger ship with a subject amount of nearly €120 million (about RMB 920 million at that time), which comes with an optional vessel.

In the offshore vessel market, Fincantieri’s Norwegian shipyard Vard has already received orders for several new vessels this year. According to the Business Plan 2023-2027 published by Fincantieri, the company aims to further enhance its competitiveness by strengthening synergies between its cruise, defense and specialized offshore shipbuilding businesses, and improving productivity and efficiency. The company revealed at the end of last year that its focus will be on increasing its expertise in the areas of digital shipbuilding and net-zero ships.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding

Most Popular