The new repair shipyard for super and mega yachts of the renowned Dutch shipbuilding company Damen and Porto Montenegro consortium in Bijela, could start providing their first services to customers by the end of this year. In the first three years of the new company's business, which is still run under the working name of Montenegro Yacht Services (MYS), more than 20 million euros will be invested, and Bijela will, if everything is realized according to plan, become a credible and competitive alternative to the so-called renowned service centers and overhaul yachting yards in France, Spain and the west coast of Italy.
This was said in an exclusive interview with "Vijesti" - the first one given to the Montenegrin media, by the executive director of Adriatic Marinas - Porto Montenegro (PM) David Margasan.
The Government and the Damen-PM consortium finally signed a 30-year concession contract for the economic development of the shipyard Bijela. The Dutch and PM have leased 198,294 square meters of land and 281,077 square meters of aquatorium. For this, MYS will pay an annual fixed concession fee of 123,303 euros and a variable fee of 5% of EBITDA (income fewer expenses without depreciation costs) of up to 5 million, i.e. 3 % for EBITDA new company exceeding 5 million euros. The plan is that in the first year of operation, the new shipyard will repair 14 super yachts (ships longer than 25 meters), while in the fifth year of operations, the number of yachts repaired will be 109. With 35 workers in the first year of operation, the MYS will grow to 300 - 400 employees in its fifth year, and the former shipyard for cargo ships in Bijela, will be transformed into a sophisticated technology center similar to the specialized yacht repair yards in northern Europe, capable of providing all types of the most complex refit and conversion works on super and mega yachts between 25 and 125 meters. The agreed prerequisite for the commencement of the work of MYS, which has already acquired about 2.65 million euros worth of facilities and equipment of the former Adriatic Shipyard Bijela (JBB), is that the French company Vlago, which was engaged by the Government, by March 2020 completes the environmental remediation of that area, which implies removing about 150 thousand tons of grit and contaminated soil from Bijela.
"The concession contract gives us the right to, if there is a possibility, MYS even before the completion of the remedy, can begin to work. Therefore, we intend to start with the organization of the entire system, hiring first workers and preparing to start certain types of overhaul services that can be carried on ships anchored in Bijela, without bringing them on the land from the sea, at the end of this year. So, we think that by the end of the year, we will be working on larger yachts that would be anchored at the main Jetty of the shipyard on its west side, on the part where previously the floating docks of JBB were located. The plan is to simultaneously offer to lift from the sea and service of small yachts that can be lifted on the coast by mobile cranes. It all depends on the ability to provide customers with the highest possible level of quality because a good reputation and its preservation are crucial for Damen.
When can you expect the arrival of a new floating dock?
"The floating dock will arrive in Bijela in the first half of next year. This is a brand new floating dock that Damen will build and for which the design is finished, and the purchase of building materials began. Namely, since the MYS will function in such a way that the yacht that is lifted from the sea will be brought to the docks, and then from the dock, by the special transporters on wheels, shifted to the operational shore or to the workshops, the new floating dock must have a very sophisticated ballasting system to maintain its stability and stability in the raised yachts at sensitive moments of changing load and stability while the yacht is "dragging" from the dock to the shore and vice versa. Currently, there is only one such the so-called load out recovery dock in the world and is located in Qatar. In addition, our dock will also have internal tanks for the collection of water and material from the underwater dial of raised yachts, when they are washed with water under high pressure, in order to remove scrubs of the algae and shells, in order to keep all these materials on the docks and not in the sea, so it would be treated in the right way in accordance with the strict environmental standards applied by the MYS.
We have already planned the position at which the floating dock can be temporarily located and used until the remediation of the shipyard's premises is completed. In the meantime, the necessary construction works will be carried out to put the dock on its permanent position, as well as strengthen the operational shore and the plateau within the shipyard so that they can withstand the heavy load of "walking" on them by the transporter, with the ships of hundreds of tons weight. The new dock will have the lifting capacity of 3,000 tons and will be a modular construction, which means it will be subsequently extended, by simply adding new sections, so it can be extended up to a total length of 150 meters and increased in its power of lifting to 7,000 tons. Later, the shipbuilding capacities will be completed by building new travel lifts.
An animation of the future look of the shipyard in Bijela - Damen
In the business plan, MYS will concentrate on overhauling yachts of steel and aluminium, over 30 meters in length. Does this mean that you eliminate the possibility of overhauling small yachts made of composite materials and wood and deny yourself of a good part of the market because precisely such yachts are now prevalent in Montenegro?
"Yachts below 30 meters are not our main target market for the future development of the MYS. We did not, however, exclude the possibility of overhauling smaller fiberglass or wooden boats as specialists-subcontractors can do it at moments when we have free capacity. There are more and more large yachts made of fiberglass, even up to 40 meters long, built in the world, so there is no reason why they would not work on such wooden boats or ships. However, after all, it is not a large market and a revenue generator, so the economic base and the main part of the MYS business will be larger yachts of steel and aluminum. As the main source of work, at least initially, we count on yachts that reside in Porto Montenegro, as well as other marinas in Montenegro because marinas are built in Lustica Bay and Portonovi. Also, having in mind the competition in the West Mediterranean and the Adriatic coast of Italy, and the number of mega and super yachts that are currently floating in the Mediterranean, we count on some 375 larger yachts from all over the Mediterranean as potential clients of the MYS. Only Amel’s superyachts in the Mediterranean are now about 50, and since they are the Damen brand, it is logical to expect them to use the services in the warranty period or maintenance and overhaul during the non-warranty period in the only Damen shipyard in the region - in Bijela. We will be a repair hub for Amel’s yachts in the Mediterranean."
Will the new shipyard, except for yachts, be available for any other type of vessel - perhaps for the overhaul of Montenegrin Army naval vessels or vessels of the Government institutions in Montenegro?
I am confident that MYS will be delighted with the opportunity to, for example, finish or repair the School Naval ship “Jadran” by the Montenegrin Army, because the beauty and significance of this ship is at the same time an excellent point in the reference list of each ship rebuilder. That's why we would always find places and time and enthusiasm to repair "Jadran". However, from the very beginning of this project, we have taken the stand that MYS will not be a "hybrid" shipyard that will repair cargo, warships or any other boats, except yachts. It will solely be a shipyard for yacht repair and conversion because only in this way can we guarantee the highest level of quality of our services for yacht owners.
"How do you think that Damen and its existing cooperators around the world will influence the development and capabilities of the new shipyard in Bijela?
"We believe that the main value of the new project in Bijela is reputation and quality, which in the world is called by the name Damen. Their globally recognized skills in the domain of construction, build and overhaul of all types of boats, and especially mega and super yachts through their brand Amels, one of the three strongest in the field of yachting in the world, make Damen's arrival in Bijela not only great news for Porto Montenegro but also Montenegro as a whole. That is, it opens a whole new set of possibilities for the progress and development of the Montenegrin economy, the revitalization of the activities of the ship repair, which has a great tradition in the Boka Bay, and the expansion of clusters of Montenegrin companies that in the future would, if the extremely stringent quality conditions, prices and deadline required by Damen are to be met,, could have their products and services included in the chain of MYS subcontractors. We want people to talk about the Adriatic in the future as the new Riviera (Cote d'Azur in France and part of the Tyrrhenian coast of Italy - prim.aut.) as a main point of yachting. Things in the industry are already slowly moving from the Western Mediterranean eastward, and Montenegro and Croatia, above all, are becoming more and more interesting as destinations for yacht berths, i.e cruise. With the partners from Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia and Montenegro, we have already launched the Adriatic Yachting Association of AYA with the aim of enhancing the yachting service in the region through a better connection of the prominent companies, working jointly, supporting partner companies and becoming a lobbyist in the Mediterranean. There is no reason why the Adriatic at some time in terms of yachting will not become equal to the Riviera. A very important step in this process is the increase in the global world about the technical capabilities of the Adriatic region in the field of overhaul of mega and super yachts, through Damen's arrival in this region and through the project in Bijela."
In the Business Plan, you state that MYS should be a credible alternative to ICOMIA's super-yacht repair service from the Western Mediterranean, but also to a much closer and "dangerous" competition on the Adriatic coast of Italy, such as the ISA in Ancona. How do you intend to achieve it?
"Against the competition, we will fight with quality, respect of deadlines and available budget, and reasonable prices as well as, of course, the reputation Damen enjoys around the world. From the engineering and technological point of view, MYS does not deal with overhaul yachting yards in the Western Mediterranean, but with those in northern Europe - the Netherlands and Germany, which are world leaders in that domain. Our goal is to bring the North European quality benchmarks in the Mediterranean through MYS, and with a partner such as Damen, we can achieve this. Their shipyards are located all over the world, and they managed to create an appropriate work ethic and attitude in the business, even in countries where there was not much of these such as Vietnam or Romania. I am 100 percent confident that Damen will do the same here in Montenegro because it only does not make sense that Damen operates a shipyard or a facility that does not provide services to the highest standards and the highest level of quality. Although people are joking here, including your premiere, with the alleged Montenegrin laziness as workers, my experiences are quite different - I personally saw that, when given the right opportunities, the local people are very valuable and happy to be able to express themselves in the right occasion.
I do not see the reason why this would not be the case, especially because the people working in the technical and shipbuilding industries generally have a different psychology and access to work, especially if they come from the domain of the industry that has been working for military needs, as it was often the case on the territory of former Yugoslavia. The level of discipline and work ethics for such companies is such that you can not often find it in classical civilian companies, and here, fortunately, we still have a lot of such people who used to work for example, in Arsenal in Tivat. They and workers of the former Bijela shipyard with global training programs in their shipyards around the world, offered by Damen and its subcontractors, will certainly be able to meet the needs and requirements of MYS. The main and most frequently mentioned topic I hear when I talk to Damen partners about MYS is training of the staff, and I am sure that we will succeed in doing so with people who are still here and have those skills, as with people from Montenegro - from Arsenal or JBB who have gone abroad to work in Singapore, Dubai, to Northern Europe and who will want to return and do the job in their own country. To begin with, they will, of course, work with some foreign experts who will be employed by Damen, but as the skill level of domestic engineers and masters grows, this attitude will slowly change in favor of domicile workforce."
Can MYS contribute more to the progress of the Montenegrin economy and the development of the capacity of domestic, now almost non-existent industries?
"Damen will lead the shipyard, and they are the ones who will evaluate what and how is the best way to make this company meet the basic and key criteria according to which Damen operates - high quality, fair prices and good planning, i.e. strictly fulfilling the deadlines. The goal for them and us is that, when a new shipyard is opened, it provides absolutely the highest quality yacht repair services throughout the Adriatic region. There must be no compromise on the short run, as this could cause irreparable long-term damage to the whole venture. It is undoubtedly that the new shipyard, however, will want to cooperate with local subcontractors and suppliers wherever possible, because it is simpler and cheaper, but it is for local suppliers and service providers to bring their offer, materials and services to the required level of quality so that they could work with Damen. All who can do it, are more than welcome."
Text by Sinisa Lukovic, on January 16th 2019, read more at Boka news
Representatives of the Government of Abu Dhabi are particularly interested in the Port of Bar, as well as for the implementation of a number of projects in the field of tourism, it was announced at the meeting of Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic and Sheikh Haze Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
From Djukanovic's Information Service, it was announced that, in addition to Tet-a-Tet talks, the expanded composition included development experiences and opportunities for further attraction of investments in Montenegro from the United Arab Emirates.
"Education was also one of the important topics in this conversation, especially in the context of the importance of foreign investment for Montenegro, to which besides capital, comes new knowledge and new management skills," it was said in the statement.
Al Nahyan, as it is added, leads the government of Abu Dhabi in the capacity of deputy crown prince Mohammed.
Djukanovic will travel from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, where he will meet with another number of potential investors from the Emirate.
Text by MINA Business, on January 15th, 2019, read more at Vijesti
14 January 2019 - Secretary General of the Association of Banks of Montenegro, Bratislav Pejaković, said that the potential danger from money laundering “does exist”, but that the banking system was capable of defending any such attempt.
“We must be aware of the fact that our market is so small and, therefore, it is not interesting for some major transactions that are very visible in a small world. That we can read about some big banks from the developed countries is something we are not familiar with. However, there is a slight danger, but I think we are capable of defending ourselves,” Pejaković said.
Considering the indicators, such as deposits, liquidity, solvency, from the systemic point of view we can say that measures imposed by the Central Bank on Atlas and IBM did not affect work of individual banks in Montenegro, nor did it worsen the systemic indicators.
“We support every attempt to find optimal solutions for the recovery of the Atlas Bank and IBM bank as soon as possible,” says Pejaković.
He reminds that deposits by a client of up to 50.000 EUR are protected.
“There are several levels of reaction and establishment of sustainability of regular operation and stability of financial position of a credit institution. Bank reserve is described in the balance sheets of the bank. Apart from the quality placement of credit assets, a bank also disposes of property, and minimum reserves at the Central Bank used for maintaining the liquidity of an individual bank. What is defined as a loss and what affects the capital and solvency, does not necessarily mean that it will not be solved partially or totally, sometime in the future? What seems problematic today, does not have to be a loss,” concluded Pejaković.
Source: Cafe del Montenegro
14 January 2019 - A consortium of the Czech Philibert and Petrovac-based Vila Oliva submitted a sole bid in the public tender for the sale of 56.4806% of the share capital of the Institute for Physical Medicine, Rehabilitation and Rheumatology Dr Simo Milošević AD Igalo.
In line with the 2018 Privatisation Plan, the Tender Commission for Privatisation started activities on drafting and implementing the tender for the sale of the share capital of the Institute. During 2018, several letters were delivered about the intentions of potential investors for the privatisation of the Institute, three bidders were registered in the public tender (purchased the tender documentation and signed the Confidentiality Statement), but only the bid by the consortium of the Czech Philibert, which is part of the Cimex Group, and Villa Oliva was submitted within the set deadline.
The public tender for the sale of 56.4806% of the share capital of the Institute Dr Simo Milošević was announced on 16 October 2018, with the deadline for submission of bids until 14 January 2019 at 12:00.
The public invitation and the tender documentation define the qualifying conditions and the minimum conditions the bidder has to fulfill to enable the offer to be taken into consideration. The fulfillment of the Qualification Conditions will be evaluated after receiving and opening the package with the bid.
The Tender Commission will not consider bids that do not meet the minimum requirements. The submitted bid will be opened at a session of the Commission to be held this week.
After the opening of the bid, the Commission will examine whether it meets the qualification requirements, after which, within 15 days from the day of its opening, it will be evaluated regarding its quality in line with the criteria defined by the Instructions to Bidders.
After the conducted tender, the Tender Commission will submit the report on the results of the tender to the Privatisation and Capital Projects Council for adoption.
13 January 2019 - The growth of the economy in the current year is going to be much higher than the projected 2,8%. It will not be as high as it was last year, but it will significantly exceed the official forecasts, around 4%. Judging by all indicators, I am definitely sure that positive trends will continue, said Božo Mihailović, a professor at the Faculty of Economics at the University of Montenegro.
“This growth should be based on investments in agriculture, the energy sector, tourism, and the total real sector. This year as well, Montenegro will be an attractive investment destination. I welcome high capital budget for the current year since it will be a driving force. Our economy records high foreign trade activity, 12,2% is very high growth, considering all the problems we are faced with,” says Mihailović.
A significant problem of our economy is public debt as Mihailović stressed.
“By 31st September of 2018, it amounted to 3,093 billion EUR, or 67% of GDP. Internal debt amounts 460 million EUR. The old economic rule says that debt does not necessarily mean huge problem, but the key question is what the cause of indebtedness is,” pointed out Mihailović.
Mihailović also commented on the strategy of economic development saying that it listed key segments that should be in the focus- agriculture, energy sector, tourism, industry to a certain extent.
“I point out the small and medium-sized industry. Particularly, renewable energy resources, solar energy, wind energy. We have to focus on increasing the real economy because it is the only stable economy. Different political and other factors influence it the least," concluded Mihailović
14 January 2019 - The University of Montenegro is highly ranked on the list of the world's top universities in the category of the highest number of citations based on the Google Scholar profile, published by Webometrics.
The "Webometrics Ranking of World Universities", a research group belonging to the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), the largest public research body in Spain, has recently published the "Transparent Ranking: Top Universities by Citations in the Top Google Scholar Profiles" List.
Google Scholar Citations, which the Ranking is based on, offers authors an easy way to track the citations of their articles. An individual can check who is citing their publications, chart citations over time, and calculate various citation metrics. A useful feature is also the option to publish a profile to appear in Google Scholar results when someone searches for a specific name.
The list contains 6,117 universities, and the University of Montenegro ranked 1633, making the University better positioned than most state universities in the region.
Namely, the University of Montenegro was not present on last year’s Ranking, which was a consequence of the non-recognition of the then domain of the University "ac.me". Having learned about the problem that prevented the University from appearing within the List, the University administration took all necessary measures, including changing the domain to “ucg.ac.me”, which resulted in this year's ranking.
According to the Rectorate, the significant positioning of University on the list of world universities is a result of the dedicated work of its professors and associates and the quality of their scientific research.
The original goal of the Webometrics Ranking was to promote Web publishing. Supporting Open Access initiatives, electronic access to scientific publications and other academic material are the primary targets of this research group. Webometrics also intends to motivate both institutions and scholars to have a web presence that accurately reflects their activities.
January 14, 2019 - Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism announced a tender for the selection of bidders for creating a Nautical Tourism Development Strategy. The aim is to analyse the potential of Montenegro and to assess whether the marine capacity of the state meets the standards expected by the target market.
Further growth of exports requires more intense activities of producers oriented towards marketing, as well as the association of domestic companies due to limited quantities, product range and financial resources, announced the Chamber of Commerce (PKCG).
"The creation of clusters and/or other forms of association eliminates the problem of fragmentation of production and insufficient production capacities and contributes to the strengthening of competitiveness," PKCG representatives told Mina-business agency.
They believe that to substitute imports with domestic production and export growth; it is necessary to work on strengthening the quality of the domestic supply, better position domestic products and link agriculture and tourism.
This, as PKCG stated, should work through the projects “Goods from Montenegro” (“Dobro iz Crne Gore”), “Let’s buy domestic products” (“Kupujmo domaće”), “Domestic flavors” (“Domaći ukusi”).
PKCG announced that a large number of products, especially agricultural foods, are unnecessarily imported, as there are capacities - domestic production, which could satisfy the bulk of domestic demand.
"We are known to produce high-quality beverages, meat and meat products, dairy products, honey, olives. Untapped possibilities are the richness of various medicinal and self-cultivated plants, then in forest areas of mushrooms, honey plants, forest fruits, as well as huge unused potential in the field of organic production, freshwater and marine fisheries," said PKCG.
High and persistent commodity deficits, as they have estimated, require further structural reforms, accompanied by a significant increase in productivity. PKCG reminded that the total foreign exchange trade of Montenegro from January to the end of November last year, according to the preliminary data of Monstat, amounted to 2.7 billion euros, which is 12.2 percent more than in the same period of 2017. Import coverage by export was 15.6 percent. "Imports of goods for the first 11 months of last year amounted to 2.34 billion euros. From Serbia, as the main partner, the most imported were beverages, alcohols and vinegar, plastics and plastic products, "they added from PKCG.
The export was realized for 363.9 million euros, and in Serbia, the most exported were pharmaceutical products and mineral fuels and mineral oils.
"The commodity deficit is mainly a consequence of the realization of the started investment projects, as well as the import of products that we cannot produce and must be imported," it was concluded by PKCG.
Text by MINA Business, on January 13th 2019, read more at Vijesti
12 January 2019 - Over the Christmas and New Year period, the people of Montenegro were doing their festive shopping in supermarkets, including giants, such as Voli Trade, making crowds as the most significant contributor to the ‘festive burnout’ – and thus contributed to a profit of dozens of millions EUR, according to Pobjeda daily.
Voli Trade company said they have been satisfied with generated profit over the holidays and emphasized it is the result of the company’s heavy work.
“This year our company earned 11 million EUR in revenues over the Christmas and New Year period,” the representatives of “Voli” said.
They also stressed generated revenues are 10% higher compared to the last year’s situation.
Voli Trade recently also bought two parcels of the former factory "Radoje Dakić" for 5.65 million EUR, where they plan to build the most modern hypermarket in this part of Europe, according to “Dnevne novine.” Voli said that the bankruptcy administration of the factory confirmed the purchase of 19,960 square meters.
At the opening of bids at the Commercial Court at the end of December last year, Mladen Markovic, the bankruptcy administrator of "Radoje Dakic", said that Voli trade was the only interested bidder in the fourth tender, at which the remaining assets of the company were sold at an initial price of almost 45 million euros. The property was first offered for 66.5 million euros, the second time for 60 million and the third for 49 million euros.
Source: Cafe del Montenegro
11 January 2019 - The development programme that provides the possibility for persons to acquire Montenegrin citizenship by investments in the following three years is launched, based on a maximum of 2,000 applications.
The Decision on criteria, method, and procedure for selection of persons who may acquire Montenegrin citizenship by admission for the implementation of a special investment programme of particular importance for the business and economic interest of Montenegro began to be applicable on January 1, 2019.
The decision of the Government was adopted with the aim of developing Montenegro, i.e. with the goal of attracting foreign investments that will intensify development projects in the sector of tourism, agriculture and processing industry in the entire area of Montenegro, both in the north and in the south, as well as faster development of under-developed municipalities of Montenegro.
The model of the particular programme is GRANT + INVESTMENT.
A grant shall refer to the amount intended for development of under-developed local self-government units. The amount of the grant shall be 100,000 EUR per application of an applicant, which is a total of 200 million EUR for 2,000 applications, that being an amount that will be intended for development of under-developed local self-government units.
On the other hand, the investment shall refer to the amount intended for investment in one of the development projects from the Development Projects List that shall be defined by the Government at the proposal of the line ministries, while the amount that a legal entity shall be obliged to pay is as follows:
- at least 450,000 EUR, to invest in one of the development projects in the Capital City of Podgorica or the coastal zone of Montenegro; or
- at least 250,000 EUR, to invest in one of the development projects in the northern or central region of Montenegro, not including the Capital City of Podgorica.
11 January 2019 - The Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism has been satisfied with the last year’s season and generated 1 billion EUR of revenues. According to minister Pavle Radulović, opinions on technical documentation for 16 new hotels in 5 coastal towns have already been issued.
“According to our estimates, 320 million EUR will be invested in tourism facilities this year. We have been delighted with the impressive records we achieved last year in this area of industry, especially regarding revenues and number of tourists, counting 2.1 million, which was by 100,000 more compared to 2017,” said Radulović.
For the first time in the history of Montenegrin tourism, hotels hosted a million tourists, i.e., there were 4 million overnight stays in the first ten months of 2017.
Radulović pointed out that Montenegrin strategic goal is for the country to become a high-end tourist destination throughout the whole year. He believes the process of legalization of illegally constructed facilities has started well.
So far, 51,000 citizens have applied for the legalization.
The growth of tourism revenues in Montenegro in 2018 was established at 8.3% n the first nine months, thus reaching the level of tourism income realised during the whole year of 2017. These revenues in 2018 were projected to exceed 1 billion EUR.
As of the beginning of 2019, the value of tourism projects in Montenegro in the past year was estimated at 214 million EUR.
During this occasion, Radulović was asked about tourism in Northern Montenegro, on which he answered that this part of Montenegro is still in development and that with new and renewed ski-centers, Northern Montenegro can improve significantly as a tourist destination.
“When it comes to Kolašin, I am sure that, with the development of ski centers and other amenities, it can attract a much higher number of tourists. Also, I think that Kolašin and Žabljak should not be competitive with one another, but with other regional centers. It is important to point out that infrastructure in the mountains is used during summer too. We are continuously investing in winter centers because that way we will provide promotion of different segments of tourism offer, extend the season in the northern part of our state and improve accommodation capacities. All this will be followed by connection with other relevant economic areas, and that will create new jobs,” concluded Radulović.