Ukrainian billionaire Kostiantyn Zhevaho has commented on the deal with the Bergen Group (Norway) that resulted in the creation of a new shipbuilding company in an interview with the Korrespondent journal.
As reported, it was announced in July that the Zaliv shipyard (Kerch), which is controlled by Zhevaho, and the Bergen Group had established a joint venture for construction of ships. According to the the head of the Zaliv shipyard’s supervisory board, Mykola Kuzmenko, the Ukrainian and Norwegian companies will have equal numbers of representatives in the management of the joint venture, but the shareholders of the Zaliv shipyard will own 51% of the joint venture.
"For us, it is an opportunity to gain direct access to first-class clients such as the world’s major oil and gas companies ExxonMobil, Shell, British Petroleum, Rosneft, etc. The Zaliv shipyard has always supplied hulls that are 98% ready to this industry. Today, we are switching to a product with the maximum amount of scientific research and design work, which is where the main added value is,” said Zhevaho.
According to him, one of the most important benefits is the fact that the joint venture will have the opportunity to obtain cheap funding with the support of Norway. "Since Norway is a country with the highest sovereign rating, funding will be very cheap there. They have an oil and gas fund that finances projects of this kind. They are saying, ‘We are ready to support you financially, provide very cheap loans to ensure development of these clusters, and provide an opportunity to attract scientists and engineers.’ Norway presently owns 40% of the world’s oil and gas fleet. This is an integral part of globalization. What we are doing now is what the world has been doing for the past 60 years,” said Zhevaho.
The new joint venture will include the Norwegian factories Fosen and BMV and the ShipDesign design company, as well as the Zaliv shipyard and its design bureau, on the Ukrainian side. There is no information about when the creation of the company will be completed. The Zaliv shipyard first began cooperating with Bergen Group in 2011, when it placed an order with the Zaliv shipyard for construction and outfitting of the hull of a vessel designed to service drilling platforms.