A consortium comprising superyacht marina development and operating group Adriatic Marinas and ship and superyacht builder Damen has signed a concession agreement with the Government of Montenegro for the redevelopment of the former Bijela shipyard in Boka Bay, Montenegro.
All parties have been working together since 2012 to develop plans for the redevelopment of the shipyard.
The agreement has been signed after the government and the World Bank placed a contract following the completion of technical surveys for the remediation of the site.
The remediation works will be completed in early 2020, after which construction will be taken up to transform the site into a superyacht repair and refit facility over the following 12 months.
More than 300 people are expected to return to the marine industry after the opening of the facility, benefiting the economy of Montenegro.
Bijela, Herzeg Novi, is the homeland of the marine sector in Montenegro and with the development of the facility, the region is expected to once again deliver Montenegro’s skills to the Mediterranean marine market.
Damen CEO Rene Berkvens said: “Considering the yard’s current condition, we face a challenging period. However, with the continuous full support of the Montenegrin Government, and in close cooperation with our strong partner and the local community, we aim to restore the yard’s health, increase employment, and pursue fitting commercial opportunities both locally and internationally that will contribute to rebuilding activity levels.”
Damen has already taken up planning of recruitment and training through its apprenticeship programme at its network of shipyards globally.
Plans are also being drawn up for the production of modern lifting and repair equipment to be brought to the facility after the completion of remediation works.
Meanwhile, the company expects to finalise interim arrangements with the Government of Montenegro and its remediation contractor Valgo, to permit preliminary yachting service in the western portion of the Bijela site by 2019-20.
Image: The Bijela shipyard in Boka Bay, Montenegro. Photo: Courtesy of Damen Shipyards Group.