German Government Offers to Buy Rostock Shipyard for Navy
The German government confirmed that it has entered a bid to acquire the Rostock shipyard that formerly belong to the now defunct MV Werften group that financially collapsed in January 2022 after it failed to win additional loans from the government and its banks. The insolvency liquidator for the group reports that bidding for the shipyard located in the former East Germany will be closing today.
The German Navy reportedly working with the Federal Agency for Real Estate Tasks and the Federal Office for Equipment, Information Technology and Use of the Bundeswehr, submitted a proposal to create a new maintenance and repair base in Rostock, where the naval command is also located. The new facility would be in addition to a facility in Wilhelmshaven in western Germany on the North Sea. Rostock is located in the east on the Baltic. The Department of Defense reportedly wants the new location to build its operational flexibility and strength in the region.
Acquired by Genting Hong Kong in April 2016, the Rostock shipyard which has been in business for nearly 70 years was the largest site in the group with an area of approximately 170 acres. Before the acquisition, it had built general cargo, bulker, container, and Arctic ships, including the Stena Don service and survey drilling rig as well as three offshore converter platforms. Genting Hong Kong made significant investments at the site including $80 million for a new building hall and an advanced laser-hybrid welding line. The building dock is over 1,000 feet long with 260 feet covered. Ships with a deadweight tonnage of up to 200,000 dwt can be built at the shipyard.
MV Werften had been using the Rostock facility as the fabrication site for large portions of the Global Dream cruise ships. The 700-foot mid-body section of the first Global Dream cruise ship was built at Rostock and transferred to Wismar in November 2019. Fabrication of the first sections of the second Global Dream cruise ship began in Rostock in September 2019 with the first steel cut. A few sections of the vessel’s keel were underway when MV Werften suspended operations in March 2020 due to the pandemic.
Christoph Morgen, the insolvency administrator for MV Werften, said they would close the bidding today for the Rostock location. He then plans to meet with the creditors’ committee to make a final decision on the Rostock yard. It had been widely reported that the government wanted to acquire the site for the navy, but it is unclear if they received any other bids for the Rostock yard. Morgen also recently said that they would sell the components, including the engines for the second Global Dream cruise ship, and would offer the few blocks that had been underway at scrap prices.
Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz has announced plans to increase defense spending and expand the country’s military capacity in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the increased tensions, especially in Eastern Europe. Officials estimated the purchase of the Rostock yard could create up to 500 jobs which would be especially meaningful after the collapse of MV Werften.