CSSC and Fincantieri ink deal for joint venture
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.