The minister of the Economy French Bruno Le Maire during the floods of Bellissima in Saint-Nazaire, on June 14, 2018 (Photo LOIC VENANCE. AFP)
The order book of the shipyard STX France is still swollen on Thursday with the purchase of three ships by the shipowner, MSC, the Economy minister, Bruno Le Maire, showing himself to be confident about the sustainability of the agreement STX-Fincantieri despite the tensions between Paris and the new Italian government.
Visit the legendary shipyards of Saint-Nazaire, The Mayor has confirmed new orders jobs: those of two steamers by MSC and the announcement of the order of a third, for a total amount of more than 3 billion euros”.
“I have the pleasure, he said, to you confirm the signature of final contracts for the two vessels World Class” and the order for a fifth vessel of the class “Meraviglia”, powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).
STX France is working more than 8,000 people, of which 2.900 employees. The company has completed more than 1,000 hires in the CDI since 2013.
Laurent Castaing, director general, welcomed”a new special order, to be delivered in 2023″. “I would like to clarify that I first refused this command by lack of industrial capacity,” said Mr. Castaing. By lack of capacity on its site, STX has even had to subcontract several blocks of the hulls of his last ship to a shipyard in Poland.
The minister presided over a ceremony celebrating milestones in the building of the ships “Meraviglia” of the cutting of the first sheet of the hull of a vessel to float a third.
At the foot of the “MSC Bellissima”, the second ship of the series “Meraviglia” which must be delivered to the shipowner Italian-swiss in 2019, The Mayor has recalled its “promise”: “You are going to retrieve the name of the Building sites of the Atlantic, a beautiful name, a prestigious name”.
The announcement of the new orders door-to eleven the number of ships to be built, including six for MSC.
The company must also deliver by 2022 five ships to its other long-standing customer, the shipowner american RCCL. STX France has previously built 13 ships of the fleet MSC.
— “A solid agreement” —
Go on sale in 2016, by its majority shareholder, south Korean STX Offshore % Shipbuilding, the shipyard is still not passed into the hands of its Italian competitor Fincantieri. In spite of an agreement signed between France and Italy in September for the acquisition of 50% of the share capital of STX France, the two parties are still waiting for the permission of the authorities of the european competition.
And the position of the new coalition government between the movement Five Stars and the Northern League, who have expressed their distrust of Europe and of european projects, remains a source of uncertainty. And some unions of STX are inquiètés of a possible reopening of the inter-governmental agreement since the resurgence of tensions between Paris and Rome around the migration policy.
The Mayor wanted to be reassuring: the agreement “is a solid agreement. I have an interview next week with my Italian counterpart, Mr (Giovanni) Tria to remind him that this agreement is a strategic agreement, which is beyond the minor irritations of the moment, and pass away”, wanted to reassure The Mayor.
“There was an agreement that (…) should apply to, and we are going with my Italian counterpart, to clarify things. The only uncertainty, I admit, this is the position of the Italian government, but I believe that an agreement entered into by a State exceeds the policy changes. Governments change, but the obligations of States remain. I hope that this commitment from the Italian State remains,” he pointed out.
The Mayor has strengthened its calendar, and confirmed that the yard was going to be temporarily nationalised, 30 June or 1 July, “as expected”. “It is necessary that the French State will resume possession of the shares of STX (the parent company of south korea, which holds 66,6%, editor’s NOTE), temporarily, as long as we do not have the agreement of the competition authorities” for the redemption of 50% of the share capital by Fincantieri. He said to wait for a response “by the end of 2018 beginning of 2019” in Brussels.