CSSC and Fin­cantieri ink deal for joint ven­ture

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By YU RAN in Shang­hai

yu­ran@chi­nadaily.com.cn

An agree­ment for the es­tab­lish­ment of a joint ven­ture be­tween China State Ship­build­ing Cor­po­ra­tion (CSSC) and Ital­ian cruise ship­build­ing gi­ant Fin­cantieri was signed on July 4 as China edged closer to the start of con­struc­tion of its first lux­ury cruise liner.

“Sign­ing this ship­build­ing joint ven­ture agree­ment with Fin­cantieri is an­other mile­stone event for CSSC and for the devel­op­ment of China’s cruise in­dus­try. Join­ing forces will give new vi­tal­ity to the rapid growth of the cruise mar­ket in China and the Asia Pa­cific,” said Wu Qiang, pres­i­dent of CSSC dur­ing the sign­ing cer­e­mony in Shang­hai.

Aim­ing at de­vel­op­ing and sup­port­ing the growth of the Chi­nese cruise in­dus­try, this new agree­ment is a fol­low-up on the his­toric agree­ments signed by CSSC and Car­ni­val Cor­po­ra­tion in 2014 which stated that this par­tic­u­lar joint ven­ture will de­sign and sell cruise ships ex­clu­sively to the Chi­nese and Asian mar­kets.

Ac­cord­ing to the pre­vi­ous agree­ment, a de­sign com­pany will be jointly reg­is­tered in Hong Kong with 60 per­cent of its shares held by a sub­sidiary of CSSC and 40 per­cent be­long­ing to Fin­cantieri.

The ves­sels will be built at the ship­yard of Shang­hai Waigao­qiao Ship­build­ing (SWS), a com­pany un­der CSSC, based on a tech­no­log­i­cal plat­form li­censed to the joint ven­ture and SWS by Fin­cantieri.

China’s first lux­ury ves­sel will have a dead­weight ton­nage of 135,000 tons and ca­pac­ity for nearly 6,000 pas­sen­gers and 3,000 ship crew.

Founded in 1780, Fin­cantieri is a leader in the con­struc­tion of cruise ships and large fer­ries and has 21 ship­yards across Europe, North Amer­ica, South Amer­ica and Asia. The com­pany has be­tween 2004 and 2015 held a 50 per­cent mar­ket share for build or­ders of ves­sels weigh­ing over 10,000 tons.

Ac­cord­ing to the new agree­ment, Fin­cantieri will also pro­vide spe­cial­ized con­sul­tancy ser­vices and sup­ply cer­tain key com­po­nents of the ves­sels to the joint ven­ture and SWS.

“This lat­est agree­ment high­lights once again Fin­cantieri’s tech­ni­cal and tech­no­log­i­cal lead­ing po­si­tion and it places us at the cen­ter of a project with­out equal in the world, sup­ported di­rectly by the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment in the form of a very am­bi­tious project,” said Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fin­cantieri.

Statis­tics from the Chi­nese Min­istry of Trans­port showed that the cruise mar­ket in China has ex­panded sig­nif­i­cantly in the past few years, with the num­ber of cruise tourists hit­ting one mil­lion in 2015, up 50 per­cent on a yearly ba­sis.

Some 4.5 mil­lion Chi­nese con­sumers are ex­pected to em­bark on cruise travel by 2020, mak­ing China the world’s sec­ond largest cruise mar­ket af­ter the US. The num­ber of Chi­nese cruise trav­el­ers is ex­pected to reach 10 mil­lion by 2030.

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