Alliance with Fincantieri. “Good news” for Naval Group Lorient
Laurent Moser, the director of Naval Group Lorient, has announced an investment of € 60 million over the next four years.
The alliance has just been formalized. The shipyards Naval Group and Italian Fincantieri will create a joint venture in equal parts. What are the consequences for the Lorient site? “This is good news,” says Laurent Moser, the director of the Lorient site, who sees it as an essential step in gaining market share in exports.
“Existing in the face of global competition”. This strategic partnership must give wings to the two shipyards by allowing them to exist against the Chinese, Russian or Korean “behemoths”. This is the strong argument advanced by Laurent Moser, the director of the Lorient site. “International competition is brutal and very aggressive. In the last Brazilian market, there were 21 competitors. The challenge of this alliance is to stop engaging in a trade war between Europeans. It is the ambition of this joint venture (company) that will be equally controlled by the two shipyards. This is good news for Lorient. A site that has “nothing to fear from this alliance, nor for its industrial activities”. In concrete terms, the joint venture will be effective in the course of 2019.
An industrial alliance for what? The two partners want to assert themselves as the champions of the construction of surface ships. “We need to maintain our lead on innovation. That’s what makes the difference with our customers. ” How? Several axes were defined: the joint preparation of offers for binational programs and export markets, the deployment of cross purchases (better quality / price ratios), the joint research of research and innovation projects and the sharing test facilities as well as networks of experts. This industrial collaboration is already undergoing a first translation with the forthcoming supply to the French Navy of four logistical support vessels (30,000 tonne tanker tankers). Ships that will not be built in Lorient. “The industrial tool is not calibrated for such tonnages”.
A € 60 million plan for the next four years at the Lorient site
“The national order is not enough”. For Laurent Moser, “the site can not live only from the national order”. With the Fremm program (ten surface buildings), the site produces 6,000 tonnes per year. The Fremm Normandie (No. 8) will make its first sea trip in February 2019. The Fremm Alsace (No. 9) will be floated in April 2019. As for the Fremm Lorraine, delivery is scheduled for 2022. Production The intermediate size frigate (cint FTI) is scheduled to start at the end of 2019, but with a turnaround of one building every 18 months, or 4,500 tonnes. Which means a down charge to come. “Without export, there is no solution,” says Laurent Moser, who also announces two investment plans: one of € 15 million in the industrial tool. And another 60 M € for the next four years, still in the tool and the means of production. What to reassure, estimates the direction, the employees of the site (2 000 jobs, 800 subcontractors).