Superyacht Builder Damen to Redevelop Bijela Shipyard in Montenegro: Dutch superyacht yard Damen has agreed to help renovate Montenegro’s historic Bijela shipyard into a superyacht repair and refit facility in conjunction with the Montenegrin government and Adriatic Marinas.
Negotiations to redevelop the former shipyard, located in the UNESCO protected Boka Bay have gone on since 2012, but a concession agreement signed following completion of a number of recent surveys, indicates that work will be completed in 2020. Some parts of the shipyard may be operational in 2019.
The agreement states that the shipyard will be transformed over the next 12 months into a superyacht repair and refit facility, with completion due in 2020. However, the shipyard could be in operation as soon as winter 2019.
Over 300 workers are expected to return to the local marine industry resulting from the agreement and recruitment and training. Damen has already instituted an apprenticeship program there. Plans also call for state-of-the-art lifting and repair equipment to be brought to the facility.
The shipyard is in the same bay as Porto Montenego, the luxury superyacht marina and village, which is expected to provide the facility with a strong customer base. Rene Berkvens, Damen chief executive, said his company is taking a long-term view on making yacht maintenance and refit successful in Montenegro. Damen’s goal is to restore the yard’s health, increase employment and pursue fitting commercial opportunities both locally and internationally.
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