The Greek state and ONEX signed the agreement for the reorganization and transfer of the Elefsis Shipyards on Thursday, pending a final court approval.
Development & Investments Minister Adonis Georgiadis signed for the government, while president and CEO Panagiotis Xenokostas signed for ONEX Elefsis Shipyards and Industries SA and ONEX Elefsis Naval and Maritime SA.
Georgiadis recalled the history of the investment and named all the authorities involved in its success, including the Ministry of National Defense, the Hellenic Navy, the US ambassadors, other government and local officials, as well as the workers “who had first approached him on the island of Syros in 2019” and asked for a similar agreement at Elefsis Shipyards.
“I see the restart of the shipping industry in Greece as a national wager,” Georgiadis said, adding “it is a pity that Greece, such a great power in international shipping, did not have a role to play in shipping industry. For all these reasons, this is a historic day.”
The development minister also noted that a delegation of the US-based DFC development bank is expected in Greece next week. “They will visit the Elefsis Shipyards for the nth time on Monday, while we shall meet here at my office on Tuesday. DFC’s processes for the funding are continuing normally and without obstacles, and I would even add are ahead of schedule as originally set.”
National Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos said the shipyards would not be solely devoted to a single customer, the Greek navy, but would “support and serve other needs of Greek shipping.”
ONEX’s Xenokostas noted the success at Neorion Shipyards “that many called a ‘miracle’, and was in essence the start of a new shipyards,” and said that along with Elefsis Shipyards, would resurrect the sector. “Elefsis is a huge shipyward, with a great footprint in the entire area,” he stressed, while he also thanked the workers for their contribution to the success of the investment.
The president of Elefsis Shipyards workers, Nikos Papanikolaou, said that it was also a historic day for the 600 staff, whose demands were guaranteed. The agreement, he said, includes the reimbursement of wages outstanding for the last 12 years, and the restart of work.
Terms of agreement
The agreement was unanimously supported by the workers at the shipyards and by key partners and agencies, including the Municipality of Elefsina, while the government said it expects it to provide a viable solution to the massive issue of accumulated debts.
The terms include an immediate investment of 100 million US dollars, a guarantee for the 600 jobs, full reimbursement (100%) of outstanding back pay to workers amounting to 13.4 million euros, and the creation of 1,400 new job positions within the next 3 years.
It is expected to add 1.1 billion euros in revenue to the Greek state during the coming 25 years (including direct and indirect taxes, insurance contributions), while the reopening of the shipyards is estimated to boost local vendors and the Greek industry with over 1.6 billion euros for the same time span.
The agreement foresees the creation of two new companies that will each assume the assets and liabilities of the Shipping and Industrial Enterprises of Elefsina SA (NBEE SA).