Damen to redevelop Bijela shipyard
A consortium involving Netherlands-based shipbuilder, Damen along with Adriatic Marinas and the Montenegrin Government sign contract for redevelopment of Bijela shipyard
Since 2012 the parties have been developing plans to bring about the redevelopment of the former Bijela shipyard in Boka Bay, Montenegro. The recent completion of technical surveys and the placing of a contract by the government and the World Bank for the remediation of the site has paved the way for the signing of the Concession Agreement for the yard on 30 November. Following completion of the remediation works in early 2020, it will be transformed by the consortium over the following 12 months into a superyacht repair and refit facility.
The planning of recruitment and training through the apprenticeship programme that Damen operates throughout its global network of shipyards is already underway. So too are plans for the production of new, state-of-the-art lifting and repair equipment to be brought to the facility following completion of remediation works. In the meantime, it is hoped that interim arrangements can be agreed with the Government of Montenegro and its remediation contractor Valgo, to allow a preliminary yachting service to be operated in the western portion of the Bijela site. This could commence as early as winter 2019/20.
Rene Berkvens, Damen’s CEO, commented, “We are happy that today marks the beginning of a new lease of life for the shipyard in Bijela. Together with our partners we take a long-term view on making yacht maintenance and refit in Montenegro a success. A strong customer base at Porto Montenegro and yacht maintenance and refit skills within the Damen Group will contribute to the success of this venture. Considering the yard’s current condition, we face a challenging period. However, with the continuous full support of the Montenegrin Government, and in close cooperation with our strong partner and the local community, we aim to restore the yard’s health, increase employment, and pursue fitting commercial opportunities both locally and internationally that will contribute to rebuilding activity levels.”
Porto Montenegro is the Mediterranean’s leading luxury yacht homeport and marina village. The state-of-the-art facility has been designed to cater to the advanced needs of all yachts, their owners, guests and crew with specific infrastructure for the largest yachts afloat. The marina currently has 450 berths, more than 320 sold-out luxury apartments, as well as 70 units of ground floor retail made up of restaurants, bars, cafes, shops and amenities and a five star Regent Hotel with over 120 luxury suites and apartments.