The Polish Industrial Development Agency (ARP) bought Allround Ship Service (ASS), one of the companies from bankrupt Stocznia Szczecińska group, for a symbolic zloty and it now plans to launch production. The ARP wants to introduce an investor and it was reported that three foreign partners, active in the shipbuilding sector, have already expressed their interest in the company. ARP President Arkadiusz Krezel said that the agency's entry into the company, symbolically called Stocznia Szczecińska Nowa (SSN)- New Szczecin Shipyard - does not mean re-nationalization.
"We plan to bring a core investor to the shipyard and sell them a stake of more than 50 percent," Krezel said. "We have already had signals from foreign partners interested in supporting the construction of ships and in providing assistance in organizing financing or capital entry," he said. Those interested reportedly include companies from Italy, France and Norway. Also possible is the consolidation of the Szczecin company with Grupa Stocznia Gdynia. "Building large shipbuilding conglomerates is justified everywhere around the world," Krezel said. "Combined, the shipyards would find it easier to gain more favorable contracts for production. But the most important thing is to specify with which foreign partner Polish shipyards should enter into business alliances, in order to compete with Korean shipyards, for example."
It was reported that banks have permitted the completion of seven of the 11 ships on which construction has started. The banks also agreed to finance the construction of two new vessels. If production of all the started ships continues, up to 3,500 people will find work at the hull assembly departments, and a further 1,000 will work completing the vessels. As new contracts are won and more ships are built, the number of employees will increase.