The overall volume of business undertaken by leading Spanish repair group Navantia Shiprepairs in 2020 has seen a significant decrease in comparison with the same period last year.
Jose Manuel Noya, commercial director at Navantia, comments: “This is in line with what seems to be the general trend in the international shiprepair market, which is definitely attributable to the current global crisis caused by Covid-19 and its impact on many international shipping companies and the repair programmes of their fleets.”
When the global outbreak of Covid-19 occurred in early 2020, Navantia had a number of docking, repair and refurbishment projects underway at its three shiprepair centres in Ferrol, Cadiz Bay and Cartagena. Other vessels were programmed to arrive in the following months, some of which were already en route to the yards. However, many of these ships had to postpone their docking schedules leaving a gap in the Navantia yards’ schedules.
Noya says: “Although the initial impact of the Covid-19 outbreak overseas did not prevent Navantia from completing ongoing projects, the rapid escalation of the crisis caused the immediate postponement of a number of repair projects scheduled for 2020. This included some major conversion and reactivation projects, which has had a significant impact on the yard’s short and medium-term repair programme.”
He notes that a few of those repair projects which were initially postponed are now underway or scheduled to be undertaken at Navantia’s yards later this year. The majority, however, have been postponed to 2021 and some have even been suspended until further notice.
Noya adds: “The real impact of the pandemic on the repair business’s performance is not necessarily reflected in the number of vessels repaired so far, but on the substantial reduction of initially programmed work scopes, which have in many cases been limited to essential work only.”
Nonetheless, despite the crisis, there has been a steady stream of work at the yards over the course of 2020. Over the first nine months, the Ferrol yard handled 16 repair projects, while there were 25 at Cadiz Bay and eight at Cartagena. Reflecting the element of specialisation of each of these yards, Navantia notes that the programme of work so far this year has included eight LNG carrier dockings at Ferrol Estuary, seven passenger vessels and cruise ships at Cadiz Bay and seven megayachts at Cartagena.
Navantia Shiprepairs has also carried out several scrubber retrofits and a considerable number of ballast water treatment system (BWTS) installation projects for various vessel types, including in some cases the complete engineering work. “In fact, ballast water treatment installations have increasingly become the standard in most docking and repair projects undertaken so far in 2020,” Noya comments.
The company points out that it never stopped operating throughout the pandemic in order to provide essential and emergency shiprepair and maintenance services to the Spanish Navy. Subsequently, a Covid-19 return-to-work health and safety programme was developed, which allowed the different yards to resume and complete standard repair projects that had been interrupted by the crisis.
The three shiprepair yards are now fully operational under ‘new normal’ procedures, with the company constantly monitoring and adjusting its health and safety measures in accordance with the international and national pandemic.
The company has recently applied a ‘Health & Safety Plan for Coexistence with Covid-19’ at all of its shiprepair yards. This addresses the medium and long-term requirement to comply with applicable national and international directives and to adapt to any changes to the current situation, while proactively developing and implementing measures to protect the health of employees, contractors and clients, and to guarantee continuity of its services in what it describes as complicated times.