The sale of the cruise giant “Global Dream” to the Disney Group and its prefabricated building in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania creates a good atmosphere. Above all, the former employees of the MV shipyards hope for a medium-term perspective.
According to the insolvency administrator of the MV shipyards, a significant part of his work has been completed with the sale of the cruise ship “Global Dream” to the Disney group. “The Global One is being completed here in Wismar for Disney Cruises,” said Christoph Morgen on Thursday at the shipyard. The sale of the 75 percent completed cruise ship from the insolvency estate of MV Werften had previously failed several times.
Purchase secures employment
Both Morgen, the Economics Minister of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Reinhard Meyer (SPD), and Henning Groskreutz from IG Metall described the deal completed on Tuesday as a bridge for the shipbuilding location of Wismar. This and the associated prefabricated building under the management of the Papenburg Meyer shipyard at the Wismar site should enable as many as possible of the approximately 900 employees in the transfer company to have medium-term professional prospects.
It is not yet clear how many former employees of MV shipyards will be taken on for this purpose. “Several hundred,” it said. According to the managing director of the Meyer shipyard, Bernard Meyer, this depends on the exact conversion plans, the same applies to the start of further construction. To ensure that the bridge is long enough, the state government has already announced that it will extend the transfer company until the end of January 2023.
So far, the project has only been roughly outlined: by the end of 2024 or early 2025, the ship, also known as “Global One”, is to be converted to a family concept – the casino planned by the original client – the Chinese group Genting Hong Kong – will no longer be available. Disney also wants to convert the drive from heavy oil to methanol.
Significantly lower capacity
According to a blog entry, the American entertainment group from Burbank in California assumes a final capacity of around 6,000 passengers with around 2,300 crew members who should be able to find space on the 342-meter-long and 46-meter-wide ship with its 20 decks. That is significantly fewer than the 9,500 guests that were once aimed for. As the managing director of the Meyer shipyard reported on Thursday, Genting calculated with significantly more passengers per cabin.
Once the ship is ready, the new owner of the Wismar shipyard, the submarine builder Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS), wants to start production. Morgen has rented the shipyard back until the end of 2023, but negotiations are ongoing to extend this period. Overall, he hopes for a seamless transition for employees.
The sale has eliminated the risk of scrapping, but not all risks have disappeared, especially not for the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The state government has taken over guarantees for the construction of the ship, in the worst case it could cost up to 301 million euros. “That will then have to be settled at the end of the insolvency proceedings,” the economics minister clarified. The federal government’s maritime coordinator, Claudia Müller (Greens), added that the federal government had also taken on export credit financing, but this was common in shipbuilding.
Sale a success despite the risks
Despite the remaining risks, the sale is a success from the point of view of the managing director of Meyer-Werft. The news of the insolvency of the MV shipyards ran through the shipbuilding network like a wave, he said. Due to the high degree of networking in the industry with its many suppliers, the entire maritime industry was called into question. Meyer himself therefore made intensive efforts to enable further construction.
The works council of the MV shipyards was also completely satisfied on Thursday, although it is not yet clear how many hands are needed for the finished construction. “What Mr. Morgen has achieved here cannot be overestimated,” praised Ines Scheel, Chair of the Works Council. Henning Groskreuz from IG Metall sees rapid planning as the most important point for the employees, so that it is quickly clear who is needed for the prefabricated construction. But he also sees good prospects for the rest, for example in the area of mine clearance or platform construction for the offshore wind power industry.