Russian owners seek to partially sell Helsinki Shipyard to western investors
Finnish business daily Kauppalehti quoted Eveany Zagorodniy, director of Russian United Shipbuilding (USC), as saying that the production of cruise liners required western financing and a Russian-owned shipyard was currently excluded from this due to ongoing sanctions.
Helsinki Shipyard is a subsidiary of USC. In recent years, it has been producing specialized ships and ships with icebreaking capability.
But Zagorodniy told Kauppalehti that one of the main goals was for the Helsinki yard to win orders for cruise liners. He added that guarantees from the Finnish governmental special credit institution Finnvera would have a great importance.
Kauppalehti noted that USC had not produced cruise liners at its other yards, and thus a success in Helsinki would bring merit to the company. In Europe there is currently a shortage in cruise liner construction and Helsinki Shipyard wants to enter the market.
Zagorodniy said USC hopes Finnish industrial partners would join in. "But for the time being it has not worked out. We have carried talks with the Finnish government and also otherwise at a high level," he said.
Kauppalehti also quoted several sources saying there was interest from China in the Helsinki Shipyard. Zagorodniy did not comment on the possible sale to the Chinese, however.
Finland is well known as a builder of major cruise liners, but in recent decades they have all been built in Turku, now owned by German company Meyer Werft.
Helsinki Shipyard has been fully Russian-owned since 2014, when the South Korean-owned STX Finland pulled out. STX had purchased it from the Norwegian company Aker in 2008. ■