Largest shipyards in Split, Trogir, Rijeka and Pula have signed contracts to the value of $1,75 billion for 44 ships with total carrying capacity of 675 000 tonnes. These numbers do not include projects not directly linked to ship building such as the construction of gates for Venice, cranes and containers being constructed in Brodosplit or large repairs in Brodotrogir which bring significant additional revenue to these shipyards. If we deduct the ships contracted by Uljanik in Pula from the total amount (14 ships worth $1 billion), Croatian shipyards are well within their annual production allowance imposed as a part of their restructuring process, in fact, they are currently working with 25% of their maximum capacity.
If we look at the broader picture and compare this year’s orders with previous years, the situation has improved dramatically. Siniša Ostojić, director of Jadranbrod stated that Croatian shipyards no longer have a problem with contracting new projects, they have a problem with their realisation. They are experiencing difficulties when it comes to financing the construction; sources of financing are a problem as well as the terms under which they can obtain loans, says Ostojić. Looking retroactively, the value of delivered ships is also increasing, but the real increase is expected in the years ahead. Compared to this year’s estimated value of ships ($270 million), next year our shipyards will produce ships to the value of $380 million, while in their last two years of restructuring they will produce ships worth $920 million which will bring us to pre recession values.
European shipyards are currently producing 13% of the total value of all shipbuilding contracts. Unlike South Korean shipyards which were hit by the decrease in demand and contract cancellations, especially for offshore ships, and Chinese shipyards, their European counterparts are stable, mostly due to their focus on passenger ships and special purpose vessels. Croatia’s rating in the European order book is still very high, it is right behind Romania, a country which is leading in terms of contracted tonnes.