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Gb Shipyard To Be ‘Biggest Caribbean Industrial’ Player In $100m Investment

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

The Grand Bahama Shipyard will become “the biggest industrial concern in the Caribbean by far” if it proceeds with a $100m-plus investment to build the world’s largest floating dock.

Giora Israel, Carnival Corporation’s senior vice-president for port and destination development, told Tribune Business that the Shipyard and its owners are currently exploring the “options and opportunities” to build such a dock in China to replace the one that was lost in April 2019’s accident.

Acknowledging that the COVID-19 pandemic’s devastating fall-out has impacted the ability of the Shipyard’s cruise line shareholders to fund this investment directly, he added that some financing may be raised in The Bahamas to help cover the costs of associated land-based infrastructure work that would accompany the new dock.

Mr Israel, who sits on the Shipyard’s Board representing Carnival as a 40 percent shareholder, with the remaining ownership split 40/20 between Royal Caribbean and the Grand Bahama Port Authority’s Port Group Ltd, said investing in a larger dock was under consideration prior to the April 2019 accident involving the Oasis of the Seas cruise liner.

“Royal Caribbean’s ship was being taken only partially out of the water because the dry dock could not carry such a big ship,” he recalled. “The manoevere had been done before, but this time something went wrong and the dock was destroyed. It was a total loss and had to be cut to pieces and taken out.

“That incident causes a lot of setbacks as we were unable to operate on other ships. The shareholders started the process of recovering the wreck and claiming the insurance proceeds. That process has not been completed.”

The accident meant GB Shipyard lost its status as the world’s busiest cruise ship repair facility, having serviced three-and-a-half times the number of vessels seen by any rival yard. The accident left the company functioning at just 25 percent capacity.

Mr Israel, though, said its shareholders had been anticipating “building a larger dock” in response to the increasing size of cruise ships that would have been “the biggest floating dock in the Americas”.

Subsequent inquiries confirmed that such a dock has to be built in Asia rather than Europe, but the cruise industry’s enforced COVID-19 closure and billions of dollars in losses has disrupted financing plans.

“We are looking at our options and opportunities to build such a dock in China,” Mr Israel told Tribune Business. “The COVID-19 situation put a strain on the ability of the shareholders to directly fund it. We’re looking at various options and opportunities as to how to build it and fund it. We’re looking at this process.

“We have to talk to the Government in due course as we get more advanced in this process. It [the dock] will definitely be the biggest in the world; by far the biggest in the world. We have a lot of engineers working on it. We have to bring it over from China.

“I would say this investment will be north of $100m. There are parts that include the dock itself, the cranes needed to support the ship, and infrastructure on land. If this project comes about, and when it comes about, it will make the Grand Bahama Shipyard the largest industrial concern in the Caribbean by far.”

Mr Israel said just 20 percent of the Shipyard’s clients prior to the April 2019 accident were cruise ships, with the 80 percent balance featuring cargo vessels, bulk carriers and naval ships such as Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) vessels.

Comments

TalRussell 1 month, 2 weeks ago

My Comrades, if there are be positives surface on the other side COVID-19, let's hope one they are that the colony of out islanders, shouldn't a day longer remain dependent upon the whims the mega investments.
Yes, we fair much better when we're more left we own out islanders selves.

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tribanon 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Here we see Carnival basically announcing it would be most supportive of our government borrowing even more money from Communist china to help out the cruise ship industry. Giora Israel is one real stink piece of ........... , you know, all that stuff Carnival still dumps in our territorial waters!

If you read the rather long winded and repetitious position paper in the link below from top to very bottom, you will quickly come to appreciate the extent to which Ingraham, Christie and Minnis have allowed the Communist Chinese to compromise the sovereignty of our country and its people. We are owned by the Communist Chinese and you and others like you are either in denial or just don't know it yet. And the Communist Chinese sphere of influence in our country has greatly increased since that position paper was written in May 2020.

https://ascf.us/an-in-depth-look-at-c...">https://ascf.us/an-in-depth-look-at-c...

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Economist 1 month, 1 week ago

First sentence says it all. "If", that's correct, "if".

No sense in wasting time until the order is complete and the docks are on the way.

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