At the insolvent MV shipyards there is a lot of uncertainty about what will happen to the locations, employees and above all to the largest cruise ship in the world. An overview. After MV Werften filed for insolvency, all efforts are directed towards the further construction of the cruise ship “Global Dream One”, which has already been largely completed. The provisional insolvency administrator Christoph Morgen conducted initial negotiations with the previous shipyard owner Genting Hong Kong on Friday.
“We had an initial discussion in a good, constructive atmosphere and will look for solutions for financing,” said Morgen, without giving any further details. Further talks are planned. The “Global Dream I” in a dock at MV Werften: It is unclear whether the world’s largest cruise ship will ever be completed. (Source: Frank Hormann/nordlicht/imago images)
The 1.5 billion euro ship is 75 percent complete. It is one of the largest cruise ships in the world: 342 meters long, 57 meters high, with room for 9,500 passengers and 2,500 crew members. But around 600 million euros are still missing for completion.
Genting is a potential buyer
So far, the ship has been built for the shipyards’ parent company, Genting Hong Kong. The Asian tourism company specializes in cruises. The group is still a potential buyer. The federal government had previously agreed to advance the money for completion from the Economic Stabilization Fund, but demanded 60 million euros from Genting as an own contribution. Since the parent company did not provide this sum, the aid package fell through (read here how insolvency came about). It is also still unclear what will happen next for the 1,900 employees. At least the December wages should be paid on Monday. According to IG Metall, most of the employees have already signed the necessary declarations of assignment. These are a prerequisite for the Federal Employment Agency to be able to pay insolvency compensation. However, these benefits are only granted for three months. Until then, the insolvency administrator must find other sources of funds if operations are to be maintained. The sale of individual locations or the sale of shipyard properties are already under discussion.
According to Morgen, there is an idea in Stralsund to develop a maritime business park. At other locations, the construction of offshore wind power platforms is being considered. The insolvency proceedings are expected to open on March 1st.
Lindner: Giving employees perspective
According to Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP), the federal government is ready to support a restart of the shipyards. She will make every effort to support the employees at the Wismar, Stralsund and Rostock locations and to help give them prospects, according to a letter from Lindner to the general works council. Works council chairwoman Ines Scheel says that the employee representatives had previously sent two letters to Lindner. “We hoped that there would still be a solution and that insolvency could be averted. Now we hope that things will continue differently,” said Scheel.
DGB sees prospects for shipyards
The Confederation of German Trade Unions (DGB) is convinced that shipbuilding in Germany has a future despite the insolvency of MV Werften. “Basically, there are certainly perspectives for the shipyard industry,” said DGB chairman Reiner Hoffmann on Friday on Deutschlandfunk.
For large passenger ships, the pandemic will show whether the market is saturated. “But of course there are great alternatives. For example, in the transport of goods, we will continue to be dependent on shipping in the future.” It is therefore right that IG Metall is fighting to preserve the shipyards. Genting bought MV Werften in 2016 to build cruise ships for its own use. But as a result of the ongoing corona pandemic, income collapsed and the entire group got into financial difficulties. On Monday, the MV shipyards then filed for bankruptcy.
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