The Malta Independent 15 August 2020, Saturday

MSC Cruises and Palumbo Group form joint venture to operate the Palumbo Malta Shipyard

Thursday, 30 July 2020, 16:52 Last update: about 16 days ago

MSC Cruises and Palumbo Group have announced that they have formed a joint venture to operate the Palumbo Malta Shipyard.

The new Joint Venture sees MSC Cruises take a 50% stake in the shipyard and become an equal partner alongside the current owner Palumbo Shipyards. “The shipyard has become an international, professional centre of excellence for shipping repairs over the last 10 years since Palumbo Group took it over,” a statement by Palumbo Group and MSC Cruises read.

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“A major upgrade is now envisaged for the shipyard to further enhance every aspect of its already market-leading operations, as well as intensifying its specialist cruise line focus. Capital expenditure has already been committed to improve the operational and environmental efficiency of the shipyard.”

The Palumbo Malta Shipyard will receive custom from MSC Cruises’ vessels, as well as from MSC Group cargo ships and ferries, while continuing to serve the shipyard's clientele. “The new joint venture will generate significant economic benefit for Malta including huge demand for local specialist suppliers to support the shipyard.”

Of note will be the potential introduction of cutting-edge technology to allow servicing and repair of the next generation of LNG powered cruise ships being built for the MSC Cruises’ fleet. “LNG is the greenest and most environmentally friendly maritime fuel currently available. This will support MSC Cruises’ objective of achieving zero environmental impact operations as part of its drive towards a more sustainable cruise line industry.”

Pierfrancesco Vago, the Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises said: “I am proud to be forming this joint venture with Palumbo and his group today. This is a natural culmination of our already warm and close relationship that has developed from the professionality he has shown over the years.  This announcement also represents a strengthening of our ties with Malta where we have five of our ships registered and plans for all our newbuilds to sail under the same flag. We look forward to the economic benefits this joint venture will generate for Malta, and to the professional service and repairs our vessels will receive.”

Antonio Palumbo, the founder and Chairman of Palumbo Group, added: “I am happy with this joint venture with the Aponte family because, in addition to having a personal and consolidated friendship over the years, it unites us with a common business philosophy. This agreement is not just a financial transaction but is aimed at strengthening our network and is part of a group corporate strategy. Today I am proud to expand our services, consolidated over the years thanks to far-reaching experiences, through this partnership with a world-class player. I am sure that the future will prove us right, leading this shipyard to consolidate itself as one of the most important multi-purpose structures in the markets of cruise, merchant and advanced-technology ships, providing refitting services, general maintenance and installation of Eco-Friendly systems where Palumbo Shipyards already holds a leading position. Not least, the whole Maltese community will benefit from a new economic boost."

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