PGZ Acquires the Polish Naval Shipyard

31 maja 2017, 12:21

Bartosz Kownacki, Secretary of State at the Polish Ministry of Defence, has officially announced that Gdynia-based Polish Naval Shipyard has been acquired by the Polish Armaments Group.

The information provided by Deputy Minister Kownacki, during his speech made at the Polish Naval Shipyard in Gdynia, suggests that the preliminary agreement concerning the above process has been signed in presence of a notary on Friday, 26th May 2017. Ultimate agreement between the parties is to be signed in September 2017.

Kownacki has made an emphasis on the event as follows: “This is an important day, a crowning achievement to several months of hard work”. During the said work, a project has been prepared to save the Polish Naval Shipyard, which has been ultimately accepted at the end of the year 2016, “when the Ministry of Treasury stopped playing its role, and in the year 2017 the Polish Armaments Group could have taken part in a tendering procedure, concerning the acquisition of the Polish Naval Shipyard”.

According to Kownacki, acquisition of the Polish Naval Shipyard is just the first, and the easiest step of the process. Restructuring of the aforesaid shipyard is going to be the second one, with the facility actually being incorporated within the Polish Armaments Group. “The third step would be to finalize the orders that would be received by these shipyards in the upcoming years, both the ones applicable to the Polish Naval Shipyard, as well as those addressed to the Nauta or Gryfia Shipyards”. The first project which is to be handled by the Polish shipbuilding facilities would be aimed at building the submarines for the Polish Navy. Polish Ministry of Defence has made a quote on this initiative, defining the budget as ca. 10 billion zlotys.

We wanted to do everything to reconstruct and consolidate the Polish shipyard industry. This is seen in the tremendous effort undertaken by the whole Polish government, the goal of which is to save the Polish Naval Shipyard, so that we could, following that period of acquisition, take on the very tough challenge related to restructuring of this shipyard.

Secretary of State at the Polish Ministry of Defence, Bartosz Kownacki

The takeover carried out by the Polish Armaments Group is to be a ramification emerging after a declaration has been made by the current government, suggesting that the shipbuilding industry shall become one of the “driving wheels” of the Polish economy. The orders submitted by the Polish Army are to complement the development process. “But first, the industry had to be saved”.

For Kownacki, the ORP “Ślązak” patrol vessel exemplifies the chances missed. “Ślązak”, “since several years could not be handed off for operational use, and [this vessel] was the one that became a source of great problems for the Polish Naval Shipyard”.

Polish shipbuilding industry, the state-governed portion of it, has been consolidated within the Polish Armaments Group, and yet, the Polish Naval Shipyard has still been missing from the portfolio” - as Kownacki emphasized. Thus, throughout the recent months, very difficult work was being undertaken at the Ministry of Treasury and at the Ministry of Defence, the goal of which was to take over this Gdynia-based facility. According to the assessment made by the Polish MoD, not only is the Polish Naval Shipyard indispensable for the Polish Armaments Group, as it also plays a key role for the Polish Armed Forces, offering an ability to maintain and manufacture new vessels for the Polish Navy.

Magdalena Smółka, administrative receiver, stated: “I think that following the procedure, the Shipyard would be in good hands”. According to the President of the PGZ Stocznia Wojenna (PGZ War Shipyard) company: “the place taken by the Polish Naval Shipyard within the Polish Armaments Group depends on the effectiveness of work undertaken by the employees and on the property within that area.Looking at this from a purely business-driven standpoint, we may clearly acknowledge that any orders placed within the scope of the technical modernization are seen as orders that need to be fought for by the Polish Armaments Group. Both within the scope of repair, as well as when it comes to manufacturing.”

The fact that the Polish Naval Shipyard has been taken over by the Polish Armaments Group should not translate into a special position of the said shipyard. This is a chance that the shipbuilders may use, proving that placing the orders within this area is effective and economically justified. And this is our principal guideline. Another aspect which is going to play a key role for us is seen in the concept of sustainable development. We will not make it possible to hurt any of the production, shipbuilding facilities of the Polish Armaments Group, or to place less orders with the said facility, only because more shipbuilding assets are included in the Group.

President of the Management Board at the PGZ Stocznia Wojenna [PGZ War Shipyard] company, Konrad Konefał

Deputy Minister Kownacki assured the audience that the private Shipbuilding Shiprepair Yard based in Gdansk would not lose its contract, concerning the process of creating another two Kormoran II class mine-countermeasures vessels. “No plans as such exist.I wish the Polish Naval Shipyard to efficiently execute the tasks that are to be carried out.There is no such plan, such plan has never been in existence...No grounds for this would exist anyway.As some facility has acquired abilities, experience, and proper human resources, this would be a total fallacy..”

The event of signing the preliminary acquisition agreement concerning the Polish Naval Shipyard (Stocznia Marynarki Wojennej S.A.) also allows the acquiring party - the PGZ Stocznia Wojenna Sp. z o.o company - to carry out a detailed technical, financial and legal audit, which would play a key role within the scope of determining the actions related to finalization of the transaction. PGZ has made a declaration, suggesting that the shipyard assets taken over would play a crucial role in implementation of the key economic and defence projects undertaken by Poland, i.e. the operational programme contained within the Technical Modernization Plan pursued by the Polish Armed Forces, known as “Acting against the naval threats”, and the “Batory’ development programme, contained within the Plan for Responsible Development, adopted by the government.

SMW S.A. [Polish Naval Shipyard] company which has found itself in liquidation bankruptcy, carries out maintenance and construction works concerning the vessels for the Polish Navy and other vessels, also those operated by the civil user. The SMW shipbuilding facility covers a total area of 325 344 square meters. The key elements of industrial infrastructure, also playing a role of the key assets at the SMW S.A. facility, include floating dock, ship lift and specialized shipbuilding stations.

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