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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Sunday, 29.11.2020, 19:45

BLRT invests EUR 100 mln in Klaipeda shipyard

BC, Tallinn/Vilnius, 16.07.2020.Print version
Over the last four years, industrial group BLRT Group has invested 100 million euros in strengthening the competitiveness of the Western Shipyard group of companies belonging to the group as well as the development of production units located in Klaipeda, informs LETA/BNS.

At the beginning of July, one of the largest floating docks in the Baltics took up its permanent place in the Klaipeda port basin at the BLRT-owned Western Shipyard and has seen the arrival of the first ship as well, BLRT said.

In 2016, BLRT Grupp purchased a 235-meter-long, 45-meter-wide and 33,000-ton floating dock for servicing post-Panamax, Panamax and Aframax vessels from Adriatic Shipyard Bijela in Montenegro and the dock has now undergone a course of repair and modernization.

With the introduction of the dock and the arrival of the first vessel for repair, the first phase of the project, which lasted almost four years, was concluded. The second phase of the ship repair development will culminate in the coming months, when another large dock, which was purchased at the end of last year from the Riga Shipyard for the maintenance of Panamax ships, will take up its place at the shipyard.

BLRT Grupp management board chair Veronika Ivanovskaja said in a press release that the new docks will open up new opportunities for both the company and the shipowners to repair and upgrade their large vessels.

"Western Shiprepair will be the center of attraction for vessels in need of repair and maintenance, which, together with shipyards in Tallinn and Turku, will allow the group to compete with the largest ship repair companies in northern and western Europe," Ivanovskaja said.

She added that the investments will also result in new jobs. "Seasonally, a large number of various top specialists have to be involved in repair and maintenance projects, for which good conditions have been created in Lithuania: shipbuilding and ship repair specialists are trained in local higher and vocational education institutions," Ivanovskaja said.

She pointed out that Lithuania does not have an immigration quota for foreign workers, which allows the use of qualified foreign workers if necessary. "Unfortunately, due to the migration problems of foreign labor, we were forced to change our development plan at the last minute and abandon the installation of a large floating dock in Tallinn, which should have taken place in the middle of this year," Ivanovskaja said.

The Klaipeda project was implemented in cooperation with the Klaipeda State Seaport Authority, which also invested money in the port's infrastructure in order to ensure the environmentally safe handling of vessels up to 300 meters in length.

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