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Xenokostas outlines the development course of the ONEX Shipyards

"In total, we repair around 220 ships a year. Many of these ships until recently mainly ended up in Turkey, leaving thousands of unemployed people behind in our country"

The development course of the ONEX Shipyards (Syros and Elefsis) over the last five years, the national success of the regeneration of the sector, which was considered by many to be impossible, and the upcoming investment plans of the ONEX Group were outlined by Panos Xenokostas, president of the Hellenic Shipyards Association, president & managing director of the ONEX Group, in a discussion at the Delphi Economic Forum IX.

Speaking about the Syros shipyards, he stated that “just before 2019, the Syros Shipyards had debts of almost 80 million euros. Their activity stopped for almost 7 years, the facilities were damaged, and the 180 workers were left unpaid. The workers received approximately 10 million euros, from the debts of the previous ownership, while annually approximately 20 million euros are returned to the island, approximately 35 million investments have already been made and 25 million have been repaid to the public and the corresponding funds, exactly as foreseen in the consolidation plan. At this moment, a new round of investments has already started aiming to move to the next day.

At the same time, in collaboration with CISCO and the South Aegean Region, we created the New Technologies Innovation Center for insularity and shipping. CISCO’s first center outside America,” he said.

Regarding the shipbuilding unit of Elefsis, he noted that “until two years ago and for about seven years, the workers were unpaid, with debts reaching 44 million euros. At the same time, two of the tanks were submerged and the entire facility was being dismantled. In the year and a half since the interim operation began, workers have received about 18 million euros in old property debts, payments and compensation. Under the restructuring plan, 43 million debts of the previous ownership will be paid off.

At the same time, the investments that have already been made are more than 50 million euros so far, while in total they will exceed 250 million euros.

In just 13 months, the repaired ships have exceeded 85, while on an annual basis they reach 110-120 ships. In Syros the corresponding number is close to 100 ships per year compared to 25 in the past. At the moment there are 18 ships in Syros and Elefsis.

In total, we repair around 220 ships a year. Many of these ships until recently mainly ended up in Turkey, leaving thousands of unemployed people behind in our country, as we are talking about a particularly expanded economic ecosystem.

Regarding the upcoming agreements and investments, he emphasized that “in the commercial shipping sector, we aspire to become a hub for the transformation of the sector and a green transition for the entire wider region. We are very close to acquiring new technologies related to the reduction of fuel emissions and carbon capsule systems.”

In the field of construction of new ships, as mentioned by Panos Xenokostas, the first contract for the construction of 100-meter ships (ferryboat) will be signed with Attica in the next two months. At the same time, the signing of an agreement, also with a Greek owner, for the construction of two tugboats, as well as a third contract for the construction of a 45-meter ship, is underway.

In the defense part, our goal is to design and build ships in Greece supporting the fleet.

Finally, regarding the energy part, “we aspire and are prepared within the year to proceed with the project of the floating wind turbines, which will be entirely manufactured at the Elefsis Shipyards. This market is valued at over 30 billion euros until 2050,” explained Xenokostas.