Fincantieri, the Italian shipbuilder, is going to extend the Al Fattan shipyard in Abu Dhabi as part of Etihad Ship Building (ESB), its new joint venture in the UAE, reports The National.
“Etihad Ship Building is set to become our main logistical hub in an area which is of strategic importance for Fincantieri with a view to building ships ordered by local navies in the region,” said Alberto Maestrini, the senior vice president of naval vessels at Fincantieri.
Expected to be completed by 2017, the new facility will comprise a prefabrication shed, a large hull assembly and ship refit area, a 5,000 ton shiplift, workshops, warehousing and offices.
The Italian company is currently constructing three vessels for the UAE Navy at Italian shipyards, including an Abu Dhabi-class anti-submarine corvette and two “Falaj 2″ stealth-class patrol vessels scheduled to be delivered between the end of this year and early next year.
ESB joint venture, established in 2010 between Al Fattan Ship Industries, Melara Middle East and Fincantieri, is currently performing maintenance work on two Iraqi Navy patrol crafts, originally built for Iraq by Fincantieri, with a contract for two more to follow.
According to Mr. Maestrini the aim for ESB is to become a prime contractor for naval vessels. The yard is constantly looking for maintenance and refit orders and is working on new design concepts, such as a request from the UAE Navy to evaluate the new Skorpio project, a design for a 70-knot, 15 meter stealth patrol craft.
ESB joint venture as a part of Fincantieri’s strategy to expand its business to Brazil, USA, India and UAE will likely cost Fincantieri a whopping € 15 billion (approx $ 19.7 billion) over the next five years.
Naval Today Staff , March 07, 2012