ATHENS – While the Elefsina Shipyards will be reorganized by the Ameican investor Onex, Development & Investments Minister Adonis Georgiadis told workers that their jobs are safe and that the facility won’t close.
Speaking at a workers assembly meeting, he noted there was a delay in implementing the plan because the Hellenic Navy, which pays 75 percent of their wages, hasn’t agreed to it, said the state-run Athens Macedonia News Agency ANA.
That had prevented meeting a timetable to finalize a reorganization of the operation by the end of 2021 but he said the upgrade being put together by Onex which in July, 2019 said it would put in some $400 million over 15 years to revitalize it.
The New York-based company has agreed to invest in Elefsina Shipyards and become its institutional partner. Managing Partner Ralph Di Fiore said: “This is a very important cooperation for our group. By joining Onex Elefsis Shipyards with an economic stake in the company, our commitment (to) its success is paramount,” reported Ship Technology at the time.
“Onex Shipyards is a very successful group which transforms bankrupted and closed shipyards by creating international competitive advantages, by creating new well-paid jobs and by improving services that are above industry’s standards through innovation, speed and quality,” he said.
Onex, which has owned the Syros island shipyards since 2019, has expressed interest becoming the Elefsina shipyards strategic investor since 2018 but faced some delays along the way
Georgiadis said the New Democracy government will presen an updated legislative framework that will contain the entire streamlining plan with plans for approval sometime in April.
“Presenting the plan as part of a legislation is a quicker, and legally safer procedure,” he said, adding it will be reviewed by all political parties for their take on it.
Georgiadis told workers that he is adamant “the Elefsina shipyards will not shut down, this is final” he noted, “as it is Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ decision to go ahead with Onex’s plan.”
In March he said the US reassured Alternate Development & Investments Minister Nikos Papathanassis in Washington it will be participating in Onex’s plan to get the shipyard going again.
The American government, he added, “will fund the commercial aspect of the shipyards, and continues to talk with the Hellenic Navy about the corvette program or any other progra the Navy comes up with.”
As for the private aspect of the Elefsina shipyards, he said, shipbuilding group Fincantieri will also be involved, depending on Hellenic Navy program and he insisted the future is promising for the shipyard.